Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took aim at Western leaders in Paris on Oct. 31 for focusing “too much” on the battle over the Syrian border town of Kobane, drawing nods from his host, President François Hollande, who highlighted Aleppo.
“Why are coalition forces continually bombing this town of Kobane?” Erdoğan asked while speaking to reporters after a meeting with his French counterpart.
“I have to highlight one particular issue, Kobane. Why [do we focus on] Kobane but not Idlib, Hama, Homs or Iraq, 40 percent of which is under occupation? Why is no action being taken or no operations being conducted for these places but Kobane?” he asked, adding that Turkey had already welcomed 200,000 people from the border city.
“Since there are no civilians in Kobane, where there are only 2,000 fighters, why is that place constantly being bombed? It is impossible to understand,” he said.
The battle over the border town, which is strategic for both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and Kurdish militia, has been continuing for more than a month.
Hollande agreed that Kobane was not the be-all-and-end-all of the mission, telling reporters that the “key town” in the struggle is Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city.
Nevertheless, “even if Kobane has been emptied of its population, it is necessary to provide it with the reinforcements necessary and in this regard, we have faith in Turkey,” said Hollande.