Kurds Still Hold Kobani’s Central Square, But Defeat Looms

ISIS Gains Put Syrian Kurdistan's Independence in Doubt

Losses continue to mount in the Kurdish town along the border between Syria and Turkey, and while the YPG militia says they’ve succeeded in defending the town’s central square, the ISIS takeover continues to seem inevitable.

Kurdish militia officials pushed for a further escalation of US airstrikes against ISIS in the surrounding areas, though with the fighting now taking place street-to-street inside the town itself, it’s hard to imagine the US being able to target the fighters without leveling neighborhoods.

ISIS has been pushing against Kobani on and off for months now, and in the last several week offensive has seized over 350 villages in the surrounding area. The loss of Kobani effectively means the end of a significant independent Kurdish presence in Aleppo.

It could also be the beginning of the end for an independent Syrian Kurdistan, as the remnants falls back into the northeastern corner of the nation, and refugees continue to pour into Turkey. ISIS has been keen to take this territory as their own, and it could force the remaining Syrian Kurdish towns in Hasakeh Province to look toward de facto vassalization by Iraqi Kurdistan just to stay viable.

Though they’re all ethnically Kurdish, the leadership in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdistan are starkly different, with the Iraqi Kurdish government built around a handful of powerful families, and the Syrian Kurdish territory run mostly by political parties with their roots in Turkey.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.