ANKARA: Turkey’s PKK Kurdish rebel group on Monday called on fellow Kurds to cross into Syria and combat Islamic State jihadists besieging a town near the border, the pro-Kurdish agency Firat reported.
The rebel group in Turkey called for “mobilization,” saying, “the day of glory and honor has arrived.”
The appeal urged young Kurds in Turkey to join the fight against IS forces around Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane in Kurdish, the third biggest Kurdish population centre in Syria and until now a safe haven.
“We call on our entire people, as well as our friends, to step up the resistance,” the PKK statement said.
Meanwhile, a PKK leader, Dursun Kalkan, appealed for “all Kurds to unite their forces,” according to the Firat agency. He accused the Turkish government of “collaboration” with the Islamic State radicals.
Ankara has been criticized for indirectly encouraging the formation of Islamic State through its support of Islamist elements within the Syrian rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad, criticism that Ankara has rejected.
About 100,000 people, many of them Kurds, have fled across the Syrian border into Turkey, the UN refugee agency says. On Sunday, Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse angry crowds of Kurds.