At least 138,000 Syrian Kurdish refugees have poured into Turkey over the past few days, escaping an offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Kobane, one of Syria’s major Kurdish cities. They continued to cross into Turkey which opened its border to allow refugees to enter Suruc, in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
Kobane, the third largest Kurdish city in Syria on the border with Turkey, is besieged by ISIL fighters using heavy artillery.
“Daesh [ISIL] attacked our village in Kobani with heavy weapons, and people had to flee out of fear,” said 46-year-old Osman, a Syrian Kurd. “Kurdish fighters stayed behind armed only with light weapons.”
Ahmed Ammar, a Syrian from Aleppo, lost both his wife and son during ISIL’s attack on Kobane. He moved to the village two years ago due to the heavy fighting in Aleppo. “Kobani was a safe area. This is why we moved there, but after it became besieged by Daesh we had to flee.”
He added: “We escape from death only to find death, there is no place to escape forever.”