ISIL kills at least 145 civilians in Kobane
BEIRUT / ANKARA
AFP photoIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters killed at least 145 civilians in an attack on the Syrian town of Kobane and a nearby village, in what a monitoring group described on June 26 as the second worst massacre carried out by the hardline group in Syria.
Fighting between the Kurdish YPG militia and Islamic State fighters who infiltrated the town at the Turkish border on Thursday continued into a second day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group and a Kurdish official said.
A separate Islamic State assault on government-held areas of the northeastern city of Haseki was reported to have forced 60,000 people to flee their homes, the United Nations said, warning as many as 200,000 people may eventually try to flee.
The attack on the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobane and the nearby village of Brakh Bootan marked the biggest single massacre of civilians by ISIL in Syria since it killed hundreds of members of the Sunni Sheitaat tribe last year, Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory, said.
He said 146 civilians had been killed. Kurdish officials said at least 145 had died.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu held a phone conversation with the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry June 26 over the recent developments in Turkey’s Syrian border.
The two ministers discussed recent attacks, according to a Turkish official.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu have both vehemently denied as “propaganda” accusations that ISIL was allowed to cross from Turkey into Syria to launch a fresh assault on the symbolic battleground town of Kobane.
Erdoğan and Davutoğlu also separately delivered statements accusing the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of “provocation” after it blamed the deadly attack in Kobane on Turkish state support for the ISIL fighters. “We curse this attack - which targeted innocent civilians - in the strongest way,” Erdoğan said late on June 25, in a speech delivered at a fast-breaking dinner hosted by the Anatolian Tiger Businessmen’s Association (ASKON) in Istanbul.