IS kills 120 civilians in ‘massacre’ in Syria’s Kobane
The Islamic State group killed 120 civilians in a 24-hour rampage through the Kurdish town of Kobane in what a monitor said Friday was one of the jihadists’ “worst massacres” in Syria.
The killing spree in the town, which has become a symbol of Kurdish resistance, was widely seen as vengeance for a series of defeats inflicted on the jihadists by Kurdish militia in recent weeks.
It began after three IS suicide bombers blew up vehicles at the entrances to the town on Thursday clearing the way for fellow jihadists to enter.
Women and children were among the slain civilians whose bodies were found in their homes and in the streets, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“According to medical sources and Kobane residents, 120 civilians were executed by IS in their homes or killed by the group’s rockets or snipers,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
“When they entered the town, the jihadists took up positions in buildings at the southeast and southwest entrances, firing at everything that moved.”
Local journalist Mostafa Ali said that there was no military dimension to the IS assault on Kobane.
“IS doesn’t want to take over the town. They just came to kill the highest number of civilians in the ugliest ways possible,” he told AFP.
The jihadist group also executed 26 civilians in a village outside Kobane on Thursday, the Observatory said.
“Every family in Kobane lost a family member on Thursday,” Kurdish activist Arin Shekhmos said.
‘Human shields’ in Kobane
The jihadists had entered Kobane at dawn on Thursday disguised as fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), said journalist Ali.
They then took up positions in buildings in the south of the town, using civilians as “human shields,” he said.
More than 1,000 fleeing civilians waited on the Syrian side of the frontier with Turkey on Friday, carefully watched by the Turkish troops and police on the other side.
Relatives who had made it to the Turkish side waved their hands and cried in despair, an AFP photographer reported.
Shekhmos, the Kurdish activist, said civilians from those neighborhoods had fled to the Kurdishcontrolled parts of the city, but that the YPG had yet to get involved in the fighting.