Fight for Kobani Continues as ISIS Makes Advances

Airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Kobani continue
Airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Kobani continue

The fight for control of Kobani, the Kurdish city in Syria, near the Turkish border, continues today with the Islamic State continuing to gain ground in the city center.

Reports coming from Kurdish leaders say that many key government buildings, including the courthouse, police headquarters, and Main municipal buildings in the city center have fallen to the Islamic State. This comes even after the Kurdish defense forces headquarters fell to the Islamic State fighters. The ISIS now controls over half of the city.

ISIS is continuing to fight furiously for control of the city, and are now into the fourth week of their takeover bid.

Over 200,000 have fled the city in recent weeks, but, the UN reports that as many as 13,000 civilians are at risk of being massacred if the city falls. They report that approximately 700 civilians remain in the city itself, with an estimated 12,000 in the areas outside the city.

UN ambassador to Turkey, Staffan de Mistura, is urging that country to allow Kurdish volunteers to cross the border and aid in the fighting with the militias defending the city.

Although the Kurdish fighters in the city are putting up a hard fight, intense clashes have broken out overnight as the Islamic State reinforces its forces with fighters coming in from Aleppo and Raqqa.

In a statement, The Defense Chief of Kobani said, “For 25 days we have been resisting the IS with light weapons, but with the full determination of YPG fighters and the people of Kobani. We will continue resisting against IS terrorists but we need heavy weapons. If the U.S. can provide us weapons that are capable of eliminating their heavy weapons, like tanks and artillery, and continue air strikes against [the Islamic State], we are confident we will be able to kill them all.”

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US and NATO officials held talks in Turkey in an effort to convince that country to make a greater contribution in the fight. Turkey’s Foreign Minister reports that talks are ongoing about Turkey’s part in the fight against the Islamic State militants. Although Turkey’s Parliament has authorized strikes and military action in Syria and Iraq, no actions have been carried out thus far.