Tags: turkey | isis

Hed: Turkey ISIS

By    |   Monday, 06 Oct 2014 09:01 AM

ISIS advanced toward Turkey by further invading the Syrian border town of Kobani over the weekend, turning the battle into one increasingly characterized by urban warfare.

According to The Guardian, US-led airstrikes have failed to stop the advance of the Islamic State militants, who on Sunday came within a mile of the city's center. 

"Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat ISIS in Kobani. They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every ISIS fighter on the ground," said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for Kurdish fighters defending the city from the advancing militants.

"What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them."

Kurdish calls for ground support are sure to put pressure on President Barack Obama, who has emphasized that the US-led coalition fighting ISIS will primarily be an air war, and that so-called 'boots on the ground' are unnecessary.

CNN reported that ISIS has besieged Kobani for weeks. If they capture the city, they threaten to breach the border, and may threaten Turkey, which is a member of NATO. Combined with the strife of the Syrian civil war, the northward push of the Islamic State militants has displaced over 160,000 Syrian refugees, who've fled to Turkey.

Turkey joined the US-led coalition last week, voting on October 2 to allow coalition forces to operate from Turkish soil and utilize the country's military bases.

Several factors have pressured President Recep Tayyip Erdogan into a more active role in the fight, but political experts expect he will only tacitly accept an alliance with the West, as his base of domestic support was built on an anti-Western narrative. Many have accused Turkey of turning a blind eye to Islamic State operatives who are said to have smuggled oil they raided into the country to sell on the black market.

Commenting on the battle in Kobani, the UK's former chief of the defense staff General Sir David Richards said that "Air power alone will not win a campaign like this" because "It isn’t actually a counter-terrorist operation."

"This is a conventional enemy in that it has armor, tanks, artillery . . . it is quite wealthy, it holds ground and it is going to fight. So therefore you have to view it as a conventional military campaign."



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ISIS advanced toward Turkey by further invading the Syrian border town of Kobani over the weekend, turning the battle into one increasingly characterized by urban warfare.
turkey, isis
400
2014-01-06
Monday, 06 Oct 2014 09:01 AM
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