Kurds blame Turkey as suicide bombers hit Kobani

Four ISIS militants blew themselves up in Kobani and at least 30 people were killed in clashes across the town, a monitoring group and local officials said.

By (Reuters)

Published: Sun 30 Nov 2014, 10:14 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:39 AM

Turkey’s main Kurdish party accused the government of turning a blind eye to ISIS militants on its soil on Saturday after suicide bombers attacked the Syrian border town of Kobani, one of them using a car that had apparently come from Turkey.

Four ISIS militants blew themselves up in Kobani, one detonating a car bomb at the Mursitpinar border crossing. At least 30 people were killed in clashes across the town, a monitoring group and local officials said.

Kurdish militia have been holding off ISIS fighters for more than two months in the town, known as Ayn Al Arab in Arabic. Neither side has gained a decisive advantage despite US-led air strikes meant to push back the insurgents.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the vehicle used in the dawn car bombing had come from Turkish territory. A second bomber detonated an explosive vest in the same area, before two more suicide attacks hit the southwestern edge of the town, it said.

Idris Nassan, a Kurdish official in Kobani, said ISIS snipers were hiding among grain depots on the Turkish side of the border and firing on the town.

Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP also said the militants were using state grain storage facilities as a base and described their presence in an area patrolled by Turkish security forces as a “scandal”.

“As we have been pointing out for months, this once more proves that ISIS is being supported (from within Turkey),” the HDP said in a statement.

Turkey has vehemently denied supporting the militants, saying they are also a threat to its own national security.

A Turkish official had no immediate information on the attacks and Reuters could obtain no independent confirmation of the HDP’s accusation that ISIS fighters were firing from Turkish soil.

Ankara has refused to take a frontline role in US-led action against ISIS, fearing it could strengthen Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s forces or Kurdish militias, both of which it sees as a threat.

The stance has infuriated Turkey’s Kurds, prompting violent protests in October in which around 40 people were killed.

The Observatory said clashes broke out across Kobani on Saturday. It said ISIS fighters fired at least 110 shells and were bringing in tanks. Two air strikes had targeted ISIS positions to the east, it said.

At least 30 fighters were killed, said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory’s director. Twenty-one were ISIS fighters, including the four bombers. The rest were Kurdish forces.

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