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Homesick and horrified - Syrian Kurds watch Kobani burn

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 01:32

Residents of the besieged Syrian town of Kobani use binoculars to watch the battle raging in their home town, as they wait in hope for the chance to return. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Homesick refugees from the besieged Syrian town of Kobani have become daily spectators of the fighting, gathering to watch from a Turkish hilltop as U.S-led coaliton bombs explode and fierce gun battles rage between Islamic State militants and Syrian Kurds. The advance by the jihadists of Islamic State in northern Syria has driven 180,000 of the area's mostly Kurdish inhabitants to flee into adjoining Turkey. Some of them come to the border town of Mursitpinar each day to watch the ongoing fight in their home town across the frontier. "We come here and watch Kobani. Bombs drop in Kobani every minute. We come here everyday because we feel at home here. It feels like we are still in Kobani, in our land," said Mohammed, originally a resident of Kobani. "We want Kobani to be saved. Our lives are ruined. We lost our lands, our vehicles and our animals. We fled with only the clothes on our backs to save our lives and dignity," another man, also called Mohammed, added. Kurdish militias in Kobani have been fighting off an Islamic State offensive since September without outside help apart from periodic U.S.-led airstrikes on the insurgents. Lawmakers in Iraq's Kurdistan region on Wednesday voted in favour of sending forces to Kobani via Turkey, MPs said. Kurdistan's President Masoud Barzani sent a letter to parliament late on Tuesday (October 21) seeking approval to deploy the region's peshmerga forces abroad, to fight alongside Syrian Kurds. Reinforcements getting through could mark a turning point in the battle for Kobani, where Syrian Kurds have struggled for weeks against better-armed Islamic State fighters. Turkey's refusal to intervene in the fight with Islamic State militants has frustrated the United States. It has also sparked lethal riots in southeastern Turkey by Kurds angry at Ankara's failure to help Kobani or open a land corridor for volunteer fighters and reinforcements to reach the town. Ankara views the Syrian Kurds with suspicion because of their ties to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group that waged a decades-long militant campaign for Kurdish rights in Turkey and which Washington regards as a terrorist organisation. The United States started carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq in August, and about a month later began bombing the militant group in neighbouring Syria.

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Homesick and horrified - Syrian Kurds watch Kobani burn

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 01:32

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