Introduction — Oct 28, 2014
By his own admission Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu wants Free Syrian Army to control the Kurdish border town of Kobani. His divulgence in a BBC interview Tuesday explains why Turkey has been reluctant to lend support to Kurds fighting to defend Kobane.
It also explains why Turkey hasn’t allowed easy access to local Kurds wanting to cross the border into Syria to join in the defence of Kobane. However, throughout the interview with Davutoglu the BBC fails to highlight Turkey’s reluctance to support the Kurds.
Davutoglu’s admission comes as it was revealed that several IS fighters captured by Kurdish forces in Northern Syria had confessed to receiving military and financial support from Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Speaking to Fars News on Tuesday, Soleiman Kahnou told how he led a 21-strong group tasked with gathering intelligence on Kurdish forces and conducting blasts and armed raids.
According to Kahnou: “The Muslim countries, specially Turkey and Saudi Arabia, helped us, not only by weapons and financial aids, but also by training our forces in Raqqa by the skilled Turkish soldiers”.
“Most of the foreign forces are from Chechnia, Saudi Arabia, other regional Arab countries and Turkey,” he said.
Another captured IS fighter, Samera al-Mavi, who was arrested while planting a roadside bomb, told Fars News that he was also responsible for gathering intelligence on Kurdish forces and received 25,000 lira (US$125.00) for any correct piece of information.
So far from fighting out religious fervour, Islamic State members appear to be fighting for money. Making them mercenaries rather than genuine Muslims. And as Saudi Arabia has already been cited for providing financial assistance we assume that the oil rich kingdom is also funding these mercenaries.
Turkey wants anti-Assad rebels to control Kobane: PM
AFP — Oct 28, 2014
Turkey wants the anti-Damascus Free Syrian Army (FSA) to control the Syrian border town of Kobane if Islamist jihadists are defeated, and not the forces of separatist Kurds or President Bashar al-Assad, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
In an interview with the BBC broadcast on Tuesday, Davutoglu called for an “integrated strategy” with the United States to equip and train the FSA and oust Assad from power.
He indicated that Turkey would only offer its air bases and other facilities for the international coalition fighting Islamic State (IS) if such a strategy were pursued.
The United States should “equip and train the Free Syrian Army so that if ISIS leaves, the regime should not come,” he said, using another name for IS.
“If ISIS leaves the PKK terrorists should not come, if ISIS is eliminated, the brutal massacres should not continue,” he added.
“So there is a need for an integrated strategy.”
Turkey is fearful that Kobane could be taken over by Kurds allied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has waged a three-decade insurgency for self rule and is regarded as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and most of Europe.
He said Turkey would be prepared for the US-led coalition to use its facilities such as the Incirlik air base for raids against IS only if “we have a common understanding for a new pluralistic and democratic Syria”.
Turkey has been criticised in recent weeks for failing to help the US-led coalition and Kurdish fighters seeking to prevent IS from taking over Kobane, which lies just a few kilometres from the Turkish border.
A contingent of Kurdish peshmerga fighters from northern Iraq is expected to transit Turkey to bolster the defence of Kobane in the coming days, with along reinforcements from the FSA.