Anger as wounded Kurdish fighters die stranded at Turkish border

(Reuters) – With medical supplies depleted in the war-ravaged north Syrian town of Kobani, Kurdish activist Blesa Omar rushed three comrades wounded in battle against Islamic State fighters straight to the border to dispatch them to a Turkish hospital.

He said he spent the next four hours watching them die, one by one, from what he thinks were treatable shrapnel wounds as Turkish border guards refused to let them through the frontier.

“To me it is clear they died because they waited so long. If they had received help, even up to one hour before their deaths, they could have lived,” said Omar, 34, an ethnic Kurd originally from Iraq who holds Swedish nationality.

“Once the soldiers realized they were dead, they said, ‘Now you can cross with the bodies.’ I cannot forget that. It was total chaos, it was a catastrophe,” he said, choking back tears.

A senior government spokesman denied claims wounded people were deliberately left to perish, saying it would violate Turkey’s open-door policy that has given refuge to almost 200,000 refugees from Kobani since Islamic State fighters launched their offensive four weeks ago…

(Photo: Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrian Kurdish refugees wait behind the border fences to cross into Turkey near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. Reuters)

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