Possibly the most important battle in the war against ISIS is going on right now in and around the Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish-Syrian border. ISIS fighters have been battling Kurdish Peshmerga and defense forces for over 3 weeks in defense of the town that, if it falls, will give ISIS unfettered control and access to a large and uninterrupted Turkish-Syrian border. This would be a terrible situation because it would allow ISIS to move fighters, equipment, and money over the border with little to no opposition. While airstrikes from foreign powers have started just recently, the Kurds have been fighting against insurmountable odds for the past weeks and were facing certain defeat.
It seems as though the Kurds have struck a blow against the seemingly inexorable progress of ISIS fighters when they took back a key hill right outside of Kobane with the help of airstrikes from United States fighter planes. Tall Shair hill was taken by ISIS forces over 10 days ago during heavy fighting on the outside of the town. Now that Kurds have taken it back, it seems as though the tide might begin to turn in their favor. The Kurds have put up with the brunt of fighting in the area and breaking the siege of Kobane would both lessen the stress they’re feeling as well as convincing foreign powers to add more support and airstrikes to the battle.
Ideally this most recent victory will force Turkey to either join the war or at least allow Kurds who want to fight through it’s borders. Turkey seems to be the one hitch in the international effort to defeat ISIS and if they were to actually join the fight and stop killing Kurds who want to fight then the war on the ground might change faster than we expect. That being said, the battle for Kobane is probably the most important battle in this war to date and if it falls, things will quickly get worse.
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