Statement on Kobane

I am shocked and saddened by the terrible loss of life that has been witnessed in Kobane over recent days. I offer my condolences to the families of the at least 206 civilians who were murdered by the barbaric Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

I had hoped that when the Popular Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, with the assistance of US airstrikes, had driven out ISIL from Kobane earlier this year that the town and its inhabitants would be able to return to a semblance of normal life.

But this attack only goes to show how unstable the situation in Syria remains and serious questions also need to be asked about the ease with which ISIL fighters may be able to move across the Turkey/Syria border.

The Kurdish people – both civilian and military – are on the frontline in the fight against ISIL in Syria and Iraq. Kurds are making incredible sacrifices and showing great bravery – for this they deserve our utmost respect.

I will be tabling questions on the current situation in Kobane to the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and I’ll be urging the Government to remain seized of the situation in the region and to ensure that the Kurdish people get the support they deserve. 

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