US Airstrikes in Syria Don’t Slow ISIS Offensive

ISIS Continues to Press Into Kurdish Area

US and coalition airstrikes continue to pound ISIS in Syria, with the latest attacks focusing on ISIS fighters advancing into the Kurdish area around Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria.

Despite that area being the new focus of the airstrikes, the attacks do not appear to be slowing ISIS even a little, as the group continues to press ahead into more Kurdish villages, and civilians continue to flee into neighboring Turkey.

“Those air strikes are not important,” noted one of the refugees, who called for US troops on the ground to retake the villages for the Kurdish factions there.

The ISIS battles with Syrian Kurds seem to be a major source of pressure for US involvement in Syria, with influential Kurdish factions trying to paint Ayn al-Arab with the same false narrative of humanitarian calamity as Mount Sinjar, which was the initial pretext for the US attacks in Iraq.

In Iraq, the US airstrikes are being done nominally to aid Kurdish fighters on the ground, and that’s had little success either. Officials continue to insist the US isn’t considering ground operations, though they continue to escalate the war in ways that are adding to pressure to commit boots on the ground, pointing to a lack of planning or an intention to eventually renege on the promise of no ground troops.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.