France - Kurds - Syria - Turkey

Syrian Kurds want France to press Erdogan to allow Kobane relief during Paris visit

An explosion at Kobane after an airstrike
An explosion at Kobane after an airstrike Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

Syria’s main Kurdish party has called on France to press Turkey to allow reinforcements to reach the besieged town of Kobane when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Paris on Friday.


“The international coalition’s airstrikes help us but the answer is to provide arms on the ground to allow our fighters to resist,” said Khaled Issa, the representative in France of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), at a press conference in Paris Wednesday.

Click here for our coverage of Turkey presidential election 2014

Issa accused Turkey’s Islamist government of “preventing direct help to the resistance” and of secretly supporting the Islamic State (IS) armed group.

“We are counting on the wisdom of President Hollande to convince Mr Erdogan to break off relations with the terrorists and not prevent direct help to the resistance,” he said.

He also called on Hollande to persuade Erdogan to deliver the authorisation to establish a corridor between Kobane and other parts of Syria controlled by the PYD.

Two groups of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters were on their way to Kobane on Wednesday after Ankara authorised their passage.

While relations between Erdogan’s government and the Iraqi Kurdish leaders have improved, it has been reluctant to collaborate with the PYD because of its links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been in conflict with the Turkish state for decades.

Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning