Geneva, Switzerland

7 October 2014

Note to Correspondents - Statement attributable to United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura

The world has seen with its own eyes the images of what happens when a city in Syria or in Iraq is overtaken by the terrorist group called ISIS or Da'esh: massacres, humanitarian tragedies, rapes, horrific violence. The city of Kobane on the northern border of Syria, close to Turkey, has been under siege now for three weeks. There were 400000 inhabitants . They have been defending themselves – they are all Kurds- they have been defending themselves with great courage. But they are now very close to not being able to do so. They are fighting with normal weapons, whereas the ISIS has got tanks and mortars. The international community needs to defend them. The international community cannot sustain another city falling under ISIS. Turkey has been very generous in receiving more than 200000 of its inhabitants but what is needed now is concrete action. The world, all of us, will regret deeply if ISIS is able to take over  a city which has defended itself with courage but is close to not being able to do so. We need to act now.