ISIS pouring reinforcements into Kobani fight
Lightly armed Kurdish fighters are putting up a stout defense of the border town of Kobani agaist ISIS forces who have been attacking for a month. With the world press gathered just a few hundred yards away just over the border in Turkey, the battle for Kobani has taken on an importance far exceeding its value.
The Islamic State group poured in reinforcements Sunday for its nearly month-long siege of Kobane as the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders kept up their high-profile resistance.
IS has sustained serious losses in the battle for the town despite their superior armour, with at least 36 of its fighters killed on Saturday alone, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
With the world's press massed just across the nearby border with Turkey, the fight for the town has become one the jihadists cannot afford to lose, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
"It's a decisive battle for them," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
"If they don't pull it off, it will damage their image among jihadists around the world."
Abdel Rahman said that IS was sending additional fighters from other areas it controls in Syria, including its Euphrates Valley stronghold of Raqa, after its Friday capture of the Kurdish command headquarters in Kobane failed to deliver a decisive blow.
"They are sending fighters without much combat experience," said Abdel Rahman, whose group has a wide network of sources inside Syria.
These Kurdish militiamen appear to be of a different breed of opponent than ISIS has come up against previously. Obviously, they're not running away. But it takes a high morale and organizational adeptness to plan out a defense in depth such as the Kurds are employing in Kobani.
That's not to say that the Kurds won't eventually be overwhelmed. But you would hope the Iraqis and any other army that might have to fight ISIS in the future is studying the tactics of the Kurdish defenders of Kobani.