Suruç, Turkey – The hospital was crowded. Some people wept, others fidgeted with the prayer beads in their hands, paced back and forth or stood by a ramp and watched as an ambulance brought people in, or wheeled them back out; a mess of IV’s, blankets, tubes and bandages. In the Suruç this hospital alone, there were over twenty injured, at least eight dead, and several more that had arrived, had their wounds treated, then willfully went back to the fight because, as one man claimed, “If Daesh is attacking from the Turkish side, they must fight.”
On 29 November, the same day Pope Francis visited Istanbul and condemned extremists, a Kurdish fighter injured in that morning’s Daesh (AKA ISIS, ISIL) attack said that the Islamic terrorist group conducted a vehicle-borne suicide attack in Kobane by driving it through the border from the Turkish side. There were also several witnesses who said that Daesh were hiding in a small town, well within the Turkish border, using grain silos to stage attacks on the Kurdish fighters who have managed to stifle Daesh for two months in Kobane.
That afternoon, a rally to support those injured and those continuing to fight was held where the Kurds nightly make campfires and stand by the border to support the fighters on the other side. The fields of flat farmland expanded before me, and I took a walk towards the border as air strikes continued. Each explosion met with cheers from the Kurds. While exploring, I stumbled on a group of men who sat away from the commotion, squatting on the other side of a small mud building with a pair of binoculars. They pointed at a small town on the Turkish side of the border, just past the last Army checkpoint that was turning vehicles away.
“Daesh,” he said. The watchers of the border – men who often just watch Kobane perched with binoculars and cameras as they watch fighters, planes and mortars – confirmed reports that a truck full explosives drove from the Turkish side of the border and detonated in Kobane and that Daesh fighters were using border towns as refuge in order to surround Kobane.
“Turkish Army and Daesh,” one man said, pointing at the border town again, to indicate that both occupied the town. I looked through his binoculars, and while I saw no Daeesh in the village, I saw a unit of Turkish soldiers by their trucks, kicking rocks, and lazing in the sun. Behind them, Kobane was exploding in a chorus of gunfire, mortars and bombs. I looked beyond the hill, and saw the line of Turkish tanks on the horizon. They stood, unmoved from where I saw them over a week ago, as if the attacks had never happened.
Turkey, a NATO member desperately attempting to gain membership to the European Union still denies complying with the terrorist group. However, ask any local within the borderlands, and you will find multiple accounts of people who believe it is fact that the Turkish government facilitates Daesh with men, weapons and equipment and that the Army staged at the border are there to harass Kurdish fighters countering Daesh and the refugees running from the war.
Serena Shim, an American journalist of Lebanese descent claimed she was threatened by Turkish intelligence when she investigated a story on Daesh attacking Kobane from the Turkish side of the border. She was killed in a car accident on 19 October.
The Kurdish party are demanding for an investigation as to how Daesh were able to attack Kobane, Syria from Turkey. None of the locals have any true hope of an honest investigation.