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Turkish Police Dispersing Demonstrations in Support of Kurds Fighting IS in Syrian Kobani

RIA Novosti

19:05 07/10/2014

MOSCOW, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish police are dispersing demonstrations across the country in support of the Kurdish population of the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on the border with Turkey, currently facing the advance of the Islamic State (IS), Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman reported Tuesday.

'The situation in Kobani is getting [out] of control. IS has stormed the town and a lot of civilians are being killed. We want the West to do more to stop the situation in Syria,' the newspaper cited one of the protesters, who preferred to stay unnamed.

The police are using rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon, as some protests grew violent. Thus, members of the youth wing of Kurdistan Workers' Party set a preparatory school and a dormitory on fire, according to Today's Zaman.

Several hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets in Istanbul districts and southeastern country's provinces to demonstrate their disapproval of Turkey's non-interference policy in respect of the developments in Kobani.

Kurdish-led protests have also spread across Europe. Thus, Kurds in Brussels have forced their way into the European Parliament building, protesting against Islamic State and demanding more support for Kurdish forces fighting the IS in Syria, RT reported Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, Kurds organized an anti-IS rally in Berlin and held demonstrations in several other German cities. In London, Kurdish protesters occupied Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2.

On Monday night, Kurdish protesters occupied the Dutch parliament building in The Hague.

Islamic State militants have been besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab - one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region bordering Turkey — for the last three weeks, killing more than 170 Kurdish fighters and at least 20 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

Kurds are one of the ethnic groups in Iraq and Syria that have suffered greatly from IS violence.

In September US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition to fight against the extremists. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group's targets in Iraq. Obama said the United States would arm and equip Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the IS.



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