90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Kurds Say They Have Halted ISIS Advance Near Syria-Turkey Border

Syrian Kurds with their livestock wait behind a border fence near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province on Monday. Some 100,000 Kurds have fled from Syria into Turkey amid intense fighting between peshmerga forces and ISIS.
Image credit: Murad Sezer

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

Kurdish fighters claim to have halted an advance by self-described Islamic State militants in an area of the Turkish-Syria border region that has seen masses of refugees fleeing the fighting in recent days.

Reuters quotes a spokesman for the YPG, the main Kurdish peshmerga group in the region, as saying “fierce clashes” were still underway with ISIS, but that the extremist group had been halted in its advance just east of the town of Kobani in northern Syria. The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirms that the group calling itself the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, have not made any substantial gains in the past 24 hours, Reuters says.

NPR’s Deborah Amos reports that Kobani “had been a safe enclave for Syria’s Kurds about 10 miles from the Turkish frontier, but since June, ISIS has been attacking it and stepped up these attacks with tanks and artillery over the past couple of days.”

The intense fighting, she says, is what has caused an “exodus of people” across the border into neighboring Turkey. The estimate of the number of refugees that have crossed over in recent days varies, but Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has put the number at 130,000.

As we reported over the weekend, tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees have fled.

By way of background, The Associated Press says:

“The extremists’ offensive on the Kobani area near the border with Turkey prompted the leader of Iraq’s Kurdish region to urge the international community to intervene to save Syria’s Kurds from the militant onslaught.

“In a statement posted on his website, the president of Iraq’s largely autonomous Kurdish region, Masoud Barzani, said the Islamic State group’s ‘barbaric and terrorist acts’ on the Kobani area in northern Syria ‘threaten the whole entirety of the Kurdish nation and it has targeted the honor, dignity and existence of our people.’ “

Turkish security forces, meanwhile, clashed with refugees, and Turkey has closed some of its border crossings. The BBC says: “Some of the new arrivals are being sheltered in overcrowded schools, as Turkey struggles to cope with the influx.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity