US Airstrikes on ISIS Not Slowing Advance on Kurdish Town

Analysts See ISIS Takeover as Inevitable

The ongoing battle of the Kurdish town of Kobani (Ayn al-Arab in Arabic) is continuing to go extremely poorly, and US airstrikes on the advancing ISIS forces are having no real impact on the situation on the ground.

The Monday strikes did destroy five ISIS armored vehicles, according to reports on the ground, but did not appear to slow the advancement into the city. The reports are that ISIS flags are flying atop buildings around Kobani’s outskirts.

Despite Kurdish pushes to escalate the war, analysts say it is almost certainly “too late” to stop ISIS from taking over the border town, and civilians have fled into neighboring Turkey to avoid the inevitable.

Turkey offered a similar assessment, saying it was probable that Kobani would soon fall to ISIS. Instead of dealing with the refugee crisis, however, Turkish officials sought to parlay this into an escalation of the war, saying this proved the need for a no-fly zone, even though ISIS isn’t using any planes in the first place.

While Turkish officials pushed escalation of the war by the US, US officials who similarly believe Kobani will soon fall were pushing Turkey to intervene on the ground, underscoring the theme of the war: everyone in the anti-ISIS coalition wants more done, so long as someone else is doing it.

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.