The fight in Kobani is becoming increasingly desperate for the Kurdish troops trying to prevent the Syrian border town from falling into the hands of the Islamic State, CNN reports now:
The key Syrian border city of Kobani will soon fall to the Islamist terror group ISIS, several senior U.S. administration officials said.
They downplayed the importance of it, saying Kobani is not a major U.S. concern.
But a look at the city shows why it would mark an important strategic victory for the Islamic mlitant group. ISIS would control a complete swath of land between its self-declared capital of Raqqa, Syria, and Turkey — a stretch of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles).
As Time.com put it, “If the ISIS militants take control of Kobani, they will have a huge strategic corridor along the Turkish border, linking with the terrorist group’s positions in Aleppo to the west and Raqqa to the east.”
And Staffan de Mistura, U.N. special envoy for Syria, warned of the horrors ISIS could carry out against the people of Kobani — horrors it has carried out elsewhere. “The international community needs to defend them,” he said. “The international community cannot sustain another city falling under ISIS.”
I’ve been in touch with sources from Kobani, who have been providing National Review Online with updates and photos. (Read, see and watch the latest here.)
One source, who lives in Erbil but is originally from Kobani, has been in touch with friends and family by mobile phone and Facebook. He sent me this update this morning:
There are still unknown number of civilians inside Kobani refusing to leave their homes.
There are some troops from the [Free Syrian Army] fighting along with the [Syrian Kurdish] forces inside the city.
There are no humanitarian aids inside the city of Kobani. … There are about 3,000 civilians being stranded with their vehicles and cattle in three places at the border (Atmanek, Mard Smail, and Podri), ISIS from backside and Turkish military in front side.
— Jillian Kay Melchior is a Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.