IS AT THE GATES: Two weeks after escalating its assault on Kobani in northern Aleppo province, the Islamic State is poised to overtake the majority-Kurdish city.
“IS is hundreds of meters away from Kobani,” reported the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Thursday.
Photographs from the area show that the city has been almost completely abandoned. IS has reportedly surrounded the city’s eastern, southern and western fronts, leaving open only the north of the city, which leads to the Turkish border.
“IS is at the gates of Kobani,” the Lebanese news agency Radio Sawt Beirut reported Thursday.
Now, not even coalition strikes against IS positions in the area, which stepped up in the past several days, appear to be able to stem the IS attack on the stranded border city.
Once the State enters the city, also known as Ain al-Arab, it will be difficult for the US-led coalition to clearly distinguish bomb targets without risking friendly fire.
In fact, it may have been coalition bombing in Syria that led to the increased pressure on the Kurdish area. US airstrikes on the de facto IS capital in A-Raqqa last week caused IS fighters to flee the province and seek refuge in northern Aleppo.
Many of the fighters brought the heavy weaponry they had previously seized from regime military bases in A-Raqqa, including Brigade 93 and the Tabqa military airport, and have subsequently had a huge advantage in firepower over the underequipped Kurds, reported Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya.
The imminent fall of Kobani may have implications that stretch beyond the borders of Syria.
“I urge everyone in Turkey who does not want the process and the democracy voyage to collapse to take responsibility in Kobani,” said Abdullah Ocalan in a statement issued on Thursday. The jailed leader of a major Kurdish political group in Turkey was referring to the Kurdish peace process with the Turkish government,
The Turkish government is seeking authorization from its parliament Thursday to take up arms against Islamist militant groups in Syria and Iraq.
-October 2, 2014
-Photo courtesy of @RouckClif5
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