Numbers Don’t Add Up for Kobane

We have been hearing about the Kurds battling ISIS for control of a town named Kobanè for more than a week. After reading that 100,000, 200,000 or more refugees had fled the area to Turkey, I looked up Kobanè online and found it to be a city of 45,000. That was a week ago, and they say that there are more desperate people fleeing every day..   It appears now that the press has settled on the number of refugees at 160,000. Even that seems like a lot from a small city of 45,000 which is located in the desert.

Even if you look at the surrounding region, it is desert and therefore unlikely to be densely populated.    Where I live, the population of the city is around 200,000, and if you add in the suburbs, it goes to just under 300,000, and although this isn’t New Jersey, much of the suburban area is pretty consistently populated.   Even so, the city is 2/3 of the population.   Below, I have posted a gallery of images of people crossing the Turkish border.

Notice that the Turkish troops are attacking the refugees in some of these images.


And how, we might ask, are those doughty Kurds holding the barbarian hordes off for so long, when last January, the Iraqi city of Fallujah, a city of 325,000,  which was was defended by the Iraqi Army and the local tribesmen of Anbar, the same ones who beat back Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2007, fell in a week.     According to the Washington Post on Jan 3 of this year:

The capture of Fallujah came amid an explosion of violence across the western desert province of Anbar in which local tribes, Iraqi security forces and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been fighting one another for days in a confusingly chaotic three-way war.

Getting back to the Kurds in Kobanè, Turkey doesn’t particularly want these refugees,as they have spent the last hundred years or so trying to get rid of the Kurds.    The Turkish Government has closed the border, and you can see pictures of skirmishes on the Turkish border between refugees, would be Kurdish fighters and the Turkish army sent to close it on the internet.    Turkish soldiers are using teargas to keep the Turkish Kurds in and the Syrian Kurds out.   That same border has been open for ISIS, Al Nusra and the assorted FSA militias  for the last 2-3 years, but they say they are trying to close it now.    I wonder what the barbaric ISIS brigades would do if they were sprayed with tear gas as they approach the border.

What motivation could there be for exaggerating the numbers.    At first I was thinking about the Western Press, but I realized that no one is there, and most of the articles I’ve seen have a byline in Beirut.    So, it is the Kurds reporting every more refugees because the want assistance from the west.   And Turkey is likely validating their claims because Turkey also wants the ‘big guns’ to come in and create a no-fly zone in the region.    The Kurds want an independent Rojava, and I imagine the Turks want somewhere to send all the foreign fighters, and the families of the Free Syrian Army Fighters who have been living there for the last three years.

This is a good argument against creating a ‘no fly zone’ along the Turkish border.    If either Turkey or the Kurds get’s their wish, it will be a serious blow to the other.    The Turkish government is currently furious with the Kurds of Rojava because they refuse to abandon their neutral stance towards the Assad government.  Turkey does not want the Kurds and their troublesome insistence on maintaining a divergent culture in any case.    And the Kurds of Rojava have good reason to distrust the Turkish government, not only in the current situation which is a harsh reminder of the bitter future that might await them, penned in with the FSA fighters who have consistently been disrespectful and dismissive of their interests,  while most of the those living in Rojava are descendants of refugees from the brutal treatment of Kurds by the Turkish government in the first place.

A no fly zone on Turkeys border is a sure bet for disaster.

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