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  • Hundreds of supporters of Syrian Kurds rallied in Sydney, Australia. Similar rallies have taken place in over 400 cities across the world.

    Hundreds of supporters of Syrian Kurds rallied in Sydney, Australia. Similar rallies have taken place in over 400 cities across the world. | Photo: Pip Hinman/ Green Left Weekly

Published 2 November 2015

Tens of thousands of people have rallied worldwide to demand greater international support for Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Syria.

Rallies in solidarity with Kurds in Syria hit over 80 cities in more than 20 countries Sunday, with organizers calling for renewed international support for Syrian Kurds.

Massive pro-Kurdish rallies have taken place in countries ranging from Afghanistan to the United States, Australia to Venezuela.

The rally in Sydney, Australia was charged with “tension as it coincided with the start of voting in the Turkish elections,” according to one of the organizers, Peter Boyle from Socialist Alliance.

“Speakers, including Greens MP Jamie Parker, called for a humanitarian corridor through Turkey for aid and supplies to Kobane and for the removal of the Kurdistan Workers Party from the official list of terrorist organizations in Australia,” Boyle told teleSUR.

He added the rally was also attended by “Amanda Johnston, the mother of Ashley Kent Johnston, a young Australian volunteer killed in the defense of Kobane.”

“Two young Australians have sacrificed their lives for Kobane,” he said.

In the U.K., a solidarity march flooded London streets, with activists waving the flags of the two main Syrian Kurdish militias, the YPG and YPJ.

The rallies marked the second annual World Kobane Day, which first took place in November 2014.

“Now is the time to aid Kobane and by so doing show solidarity with the forces who are struggling for a free, democratic and peaceful Syria,” organizers said in a statement.

Organizers said Kurds in Northern Syria still desperately need humanitarian aid, and international support in their fight against the Islamic State group. Key demands of protesters included calls for a humanitarian corridor through Turkey for Syrian refugees and aid workers.

“While there is no official support the logistics of sending aid to Kobane has been fraught with insuperable difficulties and the people of Kobane have continued to suffer with many families fleeing to a place of greater safety. That is why it is even more urgent now to set up a humanitarian corridor from Turkey to Kobane to facilitate aid to flow through to reach the city, which is still facing ISIS assaults,” organizers said. ISIS is an acronym for a name formerly used by the Islamic state group.

When the event was first called last year, the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane was besieged by the Islamic State group. Since then, YPG/YPJ fighters have broken the siege, and launched an offensive that has pushed deep into territory previously held by the Islamic State group. In June, Kurdish fighters seized a town just 50 kilometers from the Islamic State group's de facto capital, Raqqa.

The YPG/YPJ aims to carve out political autonomy for regions in Syria's north, where the population is predominantly Kurdish. Unlike most other militias in Syria's civil war, the YPG claims to be fiercely democratic and supporters of gender equality.

RELATED: The Kurdish Struggle

 


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