First the U.S. does almost nothing to impede the ISIS advance on Kobane. Countless opportunities to strike militants while they are exposed in open territory are passed up for no obvious reason.
Then, as soon as ISIS enters the city, the U.S. ramps up airstrikes, slowing ISIS while damaging the city’s infrastructure.
Then officials from the Pentagon and the State Department fan out across the media suggesting it doesn’t really matter that much whether ISIS takes control of the Kurdish city.
CNN: The key Syrian border city of Kobani will soon fall to ISIS, but that’s not a major U.S. concern, several senior U.S. administration officials said.
If Kobani falls, ISIS would control a complete swath of land between its self-declared capital of Raqqa, Syria, and Turkey — a stretch of more than 100 kilometers (62 miles).
The U.S. officials said the primary goals are not to save Syrian cities and towns, but to go after ISIS’ senior leadership, oil refineries and other infrastructure that would curb the terror group’s ability to operate — particularly in Iraq.
Reuters: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry suggested on Wednesday that preventing the fall of the Syrian town of Kobani to Islamic State fighters was not a strategic U.S. objective and said the idea of a buffer zone should be thoroughly studied.
“As horrific as it is to watch in real time what is happening in Kobani … you have to step back and understand the strategic objective,” Kerry told reporters at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.
“Notwithstanding the crisis in Kobani, the original targets of our efforts have been the command and control centers, the infrastructure,” he said. “We are trying to deprive the (Islamic State) of the overall ability to wage this, not just in Kobani but throughout Syria and into Iraq.”