Monday, January 26, 2015

Kurdish Fighters Near Victory in Battle with ISIL

Kurdish fighters in Kobane appeared poised on Monday to deal a decisive defeat to Islamic State insurgents after four months of street clashes and U.S. and coalition bombardment. ISIL's defeat in Kobane also signifies a solid win for Obama's strategy.

The U.S. Central Command confirmed that anti-ISIL forces now control about 90 percent of Kobane. CENTCOM congratulated the “courageous fighters” who confronted ISIL insurgents in the town, which is on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey.

“Anti-ISIL forces have fought aggressively with resilience and fortitude,” CENTCOM said in a statement. “While the fight against ISIL is far from over, ISIL’s failure in Kobane has denied them one of their strategic objectives.”

UPDATE: YPG fighters were said to have entered outlying areas in the east of Kobane after ISIL insurgents retreated, ending a four-month battle for the twon. (BBC, 26 January)

Photo credit: Popular Protection Units (YPG) fighters flew their flag on a hill overlooking Kobane on Monday (EPA/BBC)


Anonymous said...

ISIS, ISIL or Daesh was never a military threat but a terrorist one. These Wahabbi/Salafi terrorists are a bunch of global misfits and criminals and never had any traction in Iraq or Syria and their atrocities only alienated more people. The real setback was the collapse of the US trained Iraqi military which has opened up new fissures in the failed Iraqi state that would be hard to seal. The Kurds and the Shia militias are not unified enough to dislodge ISIS from Mosul and US efforts to undermine Iran at the nuclear talks and on regional issues is not helping matters much either. In the end it will take boots on the ground a substantial foreign force to stabilize Iraq or watch it turn into another Somalia. The only regional nation strong enough to defeat ISIS is Iran, but considering US and western hostility towards it, a more strident Iranian involvement is highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Congratulation , Long Live kurdistan

Anonymous said...

I kindly disagree with the gist of the argument presented above ' Let me add a few points :
Firstly , had the ISIL menace not been confronted ,it would have turned into a major military threat to the countries surrounding Iraq.
Secondly , once the ISIL is reduced to a more marginal terrorist threat , the specter of a larger insurgency will still loom large . I seriously doubt that the Iranians are up to the task of fighting an effective counter-insurgency . The trajectory of ISIL in Iraq should go from a gathering military threat ( remember all that military hardware and hard currency it looted in Mosul last summer ) to a fast diminishing terrorist threat ala Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan .For the sake of all the involved parties , it must not be allowed to morph into an insurgency and it shouldn't .
Thirdly , the Iraqi army turned out to be too sectarian to engage in any meaningful fight ( ironically that may be good news to its neighbors who are mostly our allies) .Let's hope that Haidar Abadi the new prime minister could be more successful than Maliki in crafting a better motivated Iraqi army .Iran could play a helpful role in southern Iraq with Shias or in Iraqi Kurdistan , but I'd keep them out of Sunni areas where the problem really exists .
Lastly ,the challenge will be how to defeat the ISIL and keep the terrorist Jibha al- Nsra , Ahrar Sham or similarly thuggish groups from replacing it .Can an effective counter-insurgency be launched in Iraq and Syria to thwart the present and .future threats ? I think so. How ? That's a different topic .