Barzani: KRG would consider sending Peshamrga if needed
In a joint news conference Friday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani said the KRG would consider sending reinforcements to Kobani if needed, but he noted the YPG fighters are making strides on the battlefield as it is.
Kurdish officials said the YPG is giving co-ordinates to the Peshmerga forces that provide cover to their fighters by shelling ISIS positions.
The more than 270 air strikes in and around Kobani by the U.S. and its allies since Sept. 23 are far more than have been carried out on any other target in Syria or Iraq, according to the U.S. Central Command.
More than two months into its assault on Kobani, ISIS is still pouring fighters and resources trying to capture the besieged Syrian Kurdish town, but the drive has been blunted.
Helped by more than 270 air strikes from a U.S.led coalition, the border town's unwavering Kurd- ish defenders are gaining momentum — a potentially bruising reversal for the extremists who only a few weeks ago appeared to be unstoppable.
The setback in Kobani is statement of [ISIS's] vulnerability," said David L. Phillips, an expert on Kurdish issues.
Retired marine general John Allen, the U.S. envoy for the international coalition fighting the militants known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said the group continues to mass around Kobani, creating more targets for the U.S. and its allies.
«[ISIS] has, in so many ways, impaled itself on Kobani," he said.
Kobani has been under attack since mid-Septem- ber, when the Sunni Muslim extremists seized a series of villages and much of the town. Most of Kobani's 400,000 residents fled to neighbouring Turkey in the first few days of the offensive, amid expectations that it would fall quickly.
But the fate of Kobani soon became tied to the success of the coalition campaign against ISIS. A combination of concentrated air strikes and the late arrival last month of a group of 150 Kurdish Peshmerga forces with advanced weapons blunted the edge of the ISIS offensive.
The U.S. has also dropped weapons and other supplies to the Kurdish fighters, the first time it has done so in Syria in the course of the country's four-year conflict.
Front lines ' more defined now'
Kobani-based activists say Kurdish fighters have made small but steady advances in the past two weeks following the arrival of the Peshmerga forces. Last week, Kurdish fighters seized a hill that overlooks part of the town. On Tuesday, they captured six ISIS-controlled buildings and confiscated a large amount of weapons and ammunition.
«The front lines are more defined now. We have a more organized and coherent defence strategy, and IS advances have been halted — but the danger remains," said Kurdish activist Mustafa Bali. The IS, however, still controls about a quarter of the heavily damaged town, and the balance of power is still tenuous.