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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Report: ISIS Losing in Kobane Fight




Good news, if a BBC report of a Kurdish fighter is to be trusted. I hope and pray that it can.

From the BBC (via Ace of Spades):

The Islamic State (IS) militant group has been driven out of most of the northern Syrian town of Kobane, a Kurdish commander has told the BBC. 
Baharin Kandal said IS fighters had retreated from all areas, except for two pockets of resistance in the east. 
US-led air strikes have helped push back the militants, with another 14 conducted over the past 24 hours. 
Meanwhile, the new UN human rights commissioner has called IS a "potentially genocidal" movement.  
[...]  
Speaking by phone, Kurdish commander Baharin Kandal told the BBC's Kasra Naji that she hoped the city would be "liberated soon". 
Ms Kandal said her militia group had been receiving arms, supplies and fighters but she refused to say how, reports our correspondent, who is on the Turkish border near Kobane.  
Kurdish defenders have victory in their sights. After exactly a month of fighting, they say they have driven Islamic State from most of the city.  
[...]  
The battle for Kobane, which is also known as Ayn al-Arab, is regarded as a major test of whether the US-led coalition's air campaign can push back IS.

Well, the answer for that last bit is "no, an air campaign will not push back ISIS." In Kobane ISIS met stiff resistance from people who possessed no illusions about the consequences of an ISIS victory. ISIS's penchant for burying people alive, beheading, crucifixion, mass executions and public displays of the bodies hardened the resolve of the Kurds, rather than throwing them into a panic. The Kurds' response of throwing everyone who was willing into the fight (including the elderly, children, and women) against this terrible enemy, is both an admirable and an atypical response. It is unrealistic to expect any and all  people fighting ISIS to respond with the same heightened grit, determination, and heroism as the Kurds displayed in Kobane. Thus, the results cannot and will not be the same in future battles.

Basically, the U.S. air campaign will be effective only if all of the enemies of ISIS display heroic levels of courage and determination at all times. Sheer idiocy. An American general planning for a battle and who is expecting, or indeed relying upon, this level of desperation and requiring this amount of heroism from American troops is unreasonable-- and possibly criminal. Expecting constant heroism from loosely-organized, non-professional militias is ludicrous.

Yet, this seems to be the plans of the Obama Administration.

Utter foolishness...

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