Calls grow for Turkey to act as ISIL close in on Syrian border town of Kobani

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Calls grow for Turkey to act as ISIL close in on Syrian border town of Kobani

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As Kurdish fighters continue to battle ISIL in the Syrian town of Kobani, close to the border with Turkey, both Kurdish leaders and the UN have warned of an imminent bloodbath at the hands of extremists.

Despite US-led airstrikes, ISIL forces appear on the verge of overrunning the town.

Turkey has troops and tanks lined up along the border within a few hundred yards of the fighting, but has so far refused to intervene, despite pleas from the UN.

The Turkish government is demanding a buffer zone and no-fly zone be set up in Syria before they get involved. The US has refused, and critics say the buffer zone would be used as an excuse for Turkey to crush the Kurds in the region.

There is also anger among Turkish Kurds who are being blocked from crossing into Syria to fight ISIL.

One local man said: “If Turkey stays silent, it will be much worse, we know this. In every corner around Turkey, there will be war, people will die, shops will be burned down, cars will be set on fire, people will die. You can already see people’s reactions. People will start attacking soldiers, attacking police. A big massacre could happen.”

The fate of Kobani has led to violent street protests across the country which have left at least 37 dead.

The Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has dismissed the demonstrations saying they will never force him to change his foreign policy.

“Both those layabouts, and the leaders who hold their strings in hand, should be aware that Turkey is not a country to be intimidated by street protests and change direction,” Erdogan told a rally.

In Dusseldorf, Germany, thousands of people gathered on Saturday to demand more support for the Kurds in Syria and Iraq and that more pressure be put on Turkey to help.