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Daesh massacred more than 200 civilians before leaving Kobani

Daesh massacred more than 200 civilians before leaving Kobani

Naasan said 23 of the city’s Kurdish defenders were killed in the fighting, but the Observatory put the number at 16.



By (AP)

Published: Mon 29 Jun 2015, 8:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:07 PM

An injured man from the Syrian town of Kobani is carried into a hospital on the Turkish side of the border in Suruc. — AFP

An injured man from the Syrian town of Kobani is carried into a hospital on the Turkish side of the border in Suruc. — AFP

Beirut — Daesh fighters who launched a surprise attack on a Syrian border town massacred more than 200 civilians, including women and children, before they were killed or driven out by Kurdish forces, activists said on Saturday.

Kurdish activist Mustafa Bali, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Kurdish official Idris Naasan put at 40-50 the number of elite Daesh fighters killed in the two days of fighting since the militants sneaked into the town of Kobani before dawn on Thursday.

Clashes, however, continued to the south and west of the predominantly Kurdish town on the Turkish border on Saturday, they said, although the fighting in the south quietened down by nightfall.

Naasan said 23 of the city’s Kurdish defenders were killed in the fighting, but the Observatory put the number at 16. The discrepancy could not immediately be reconciled, but conflicting casualty figures are common in the aftermath of major fighting.

“Kobani has been completely cleared of Daesh, and Kurdish forces are now combing the town looking for fighters who may have gone into hiding,” Bali, using the Arabic acronym for the Daesh, told The Associated Press by telephone from Kobani. The official Syrian news agency, Sana, also reported that Kobani has been cleared of Daesh fighters.

The more than 200 civilians killed in the last two days include some who perished in Daesh suicide bombings, including one at the border crossing with Turkey, but they were mostly shot dead in cold blood, some in their own homes, the activists said.  “They were revenge killings,” Rami Abdurrahman, the observatory’s director, told .  Others were caught in the cross-fire as gun battles raged in the town’s streets or were randomly targeted by Daesh snipers on rooftops.  Bali, Abdurrahman and Naasan all said the number of Kobani civilians and Daesh fighters killed was likely to rise as rescue teams continue to search neighborhoods where the fighting took place.

Massacring civilians is not an uncommon practice by the Daesh group, whose men have slaughtered thousands in Syria and neighbouring Iraq over the last year, when its fighters blitzed through large swathes of territory and declared a caliphate that spans both nations.

The Daesh group often posts on social media networks gruesome images of its fighters executing captives as part of psychological warfare tactics designed to intimidate and inspire desertions among their enemies. 


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