Islamic State Losing Grip on the Syrian Border Town of Kobani
(dailyalert.org, Jan. 15, 2015)
With more than a thousand militants killed, the Islamic State is losing its grip on the Syrian border town of Kobani under intense U.S.-led airstrikes and stiff resistance by Kurdish fighters. It is a stunning reversal for the Islamic State, which just months ago stood poised to conquer the entire town.
More than 80% of all coalition airstrikes in Syria have been in or around the town. Analysts credit the air campaign and the arrival of heavily armed Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq, who neutralized the Islamic State’s artillery advantage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates the Kurds now control 80% of Kobani, despite more than 35 Islamic State suicide attacks there in recent weeks.
“An IS defeat in Kobani would quite visibly undermine the perception of unstoppable momentum and inevitable victory that IS managed to project,” said Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council. It would also rob the group of a “psychological edge that both facilitated recruitment and intimidated actual and potential rivals, as well as the populations IS controlled.” (AP-Washington Post)