A man going by the Twitter alias @cahitstorm has been braving dust storms, scorpions and whizzing bullets in order to post constant updates about the ongoing battle between Islamic State and the Syrian Kurds in Kobani, from a vantage point inside a chili pepper field.
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Vowing to post only what he saw with his own eyes, Cahit Storm has captured the attention of world media by live tweeting in astonishing detail about the situation in the besieged border town, and as of Saturday has over 8,000 followers on Twitter, among them journalists from the New York Times, the BBC, and other leading news outlets.
A bullet just fly over my head. I think my position is not safe anymore
Live-tweeting and posting clear photographs of air strikes, bombings and shelling around Kobani, Storm has been supplying an incredibly detailed stream of reports on the town, complete with reports about Islamic State positions, successes and failures. For instance, Storm has been one of the first to spot an American B-1 bomber flying over Kobani, Mother Jones reported.
But Storm doesn't post in dry reportage, and his tweets are peppered (if you'll excuse the pun) with taunts at the Islamic State, humorous insight on the human condition as seen from a pepper field, and general banter.
Very sporadic gunshot. It is so quiet i think i m gonna put my sunglasses and take a sunbath. WAR IS BORING
I m still in pepperfield, fuck you daesh
His trademark location in a pepper field, chosen for the ample cover it supplies, has become something of a gimmick as well, leading his fans from across the globe to tweet photos of peppers and chili sauces in solidarity with the tenacious bush dweller, who has since changed his avatar to that of a man dressed as a giant pepper.
According to Mother Jones, Storm, a Turkish Kurd, reached the field after slipping through the Turkish military lines along the border. He is one of the few Turkish nationals who have managed to do so since the onslaught on Kobani began about a month ago.
Though at first maintaining a certain anonymity, Storm has tweeted a photo of himself in response to alleged death threats, taunting Islamic State to come and get him.
And to be sure u wont miss me bloody hopeless bastards here is how i looks u fucktards pic.twitter.com/ADLWmvPKQv
Talking with Mother Jones over the phone, Storm did not spare his criticism from the Turkish government and its policy regarding Islamic State, Kobani, and the Kurds.
"I am quite sure if others could have reached Kobani the situation would have been very differentThe Turkish are just blocking [Kobani] right now[Turkey] has a very ambiguous attitude against daesh," he told Mother Jones, using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Storm told Mother Jones that he constantly changes his position, and has to use various tricks to stay hidden. At night, he slips back into Turkey and stays in the border towns. According to his Twitter account, he has been arrested by Turkish security forces at least once, but was released, and went back to his field of peppers.