Syrian Kurds face persecution by ISIL fighters

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Syrian refugee women. UNHCR/N. Daoud

Hundreds of thousands of Kurds living in the northern Syrian region of Kobani are living in fear of persecution by the militant group Islamic state(ISIL) according to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).

Displaced civilians who have managed to flee from towns besieged by ISIL fighters describe a deteriorating humanitarian situation in Kobani town with acute shortages of food, fuel and water.

Rupert Colville from the UN Human Rights Office says ISIL fighters are committing gross human rights violations against civilians trapped in Kobani.

“In the past week, since 15 September, ISIL has reportedly captured at least 105 Kurdish villages in Kobani. We have received very alarming reports of deliberate killing of civilians, including women and children, the abduction of hundreds of Kurds by ISIL, and widespread looting and destruction of infrastructure and private property. In interviews with the UN Human Rights Office, those who have fled the area also warned that there is a severe water shortage. Kobani's main supply of water came from wells in the towns of Oukhan, Qula and Qientra, all of which are now under ISIL control.”

Over 138,000 people have fled Kobane into southern Turkey since Friday.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration  1.25″.

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