UNITED NATIONS, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, on Tuesday called on the global community to protect the residents of the northern Syria’s city of Kobani from Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS) militants.
“The international community needs to defend them. The international community cannot sustain another city falling under ISIS,” de Mistura said in a statement.
“The city of Kobani on the northern border of Syria, close to Turkey, has been under siege now for three weeks. There were 400,000 inhabitants. They have been defending themselves – they are all Kurds- they have been defending themselves with great courage. But they are now very close to not being able to do so,” the envoy stressed.
The IS attack has forced more than 200,000 Kurdish refugees to flee for their lives across the nearby border into Turkey, according to de Mistura.
“Turkey has been very generous in receiving more than 200,000 of its inhabitants, but what is needed now is a concrete action. The world, all of us, will regret deeply if ISIS is able to take over a city which has defended itself with courage, but is close to not being able to do so. We need to act now,” the UN envoy concluded.
On Monday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urged "all those with the means to do so" to protect the residents of Kobani.
Islamic State militants have been besieging Kobani, which is one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region bordering Turkey, for the last three weeks. Over 400 people have died during clashes between IS and Kurdish fighters in Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Earlier this week, Idris Nassan, a senior speaker for Kurdish fighters called the airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, conducted by the US-led international coalition, ineffective, noting that fighter jets cannot hit every single IS fighter on the ground.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control in both countries.
In August, the United States started launching airstrikes against the IS positions in Iraq. In September, the attacks of the US and its allies were extended to Syria.