Syria's Kurds make military service compulsory in effort to fight off ISIS

Published July 17th, 2014 - 07:00 GMT
Kurds in Syria declared their own autonomous region in November 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
Kurds in Syria declared their own autonomous region in November 2013 (File Archive/AFP)
Kurds in Syria are now requiring that all of their men serve in their armed forces in the self-declared autonomous region's attempt to fight off jihadist insurgents, according to the Associated Press Thursday.
 
The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) have been clashing with Kurdish forces in Syria's north for months, but many Syrian Kurds are starting to fear that their ability to hold off the insurgents, who are now equipped with new weaponry obtained from Iraq, is limited under the present circumstances.
 
Kurds, who represent Syria's largest ethnic minority, have managed to make significant gains in the country's north during the three-year civil war, and declared their own autonomous area in late 2013. They now control of regions they have called Afrin, Kobani and Jazeera, part of which includes control of Iraq and Turkey border areas.
 
However, in recent weeks, Kurdish fighters have clashed with ISIS in Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab. The jihadists have taken over control of some of the area's main Kurdish villages using their new weaponry obtained from their counterparts in Iraq.
 
Many Kurds from Turkey have come to Syria to join their Kurdish comrads in the fight against ISIS, but such efforts seem to be falling short with the group's latest announcement of compulsory military service Thursday.
 
According to Juan Mohammed, a spokesman for the administration of the Kurdish city of Qamishli, the compulsory military service law was adopted this week, and requires that "[all adult males serve in] self-defense [duty for six months]."
 
The administration announced the law to the public earlier this week and published the news in the region's official Gazette, according to the AP report.

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