Δευτέρα, 13 Οκτωβρίου 2014
On September 17th 2014 the Obama administration obtained approval from Congress for its new anti-ISIS military campaign in Iraq and Syria.
On that same day, ISIS forces crossed the Euphrates river and headed for Kobane. For 11 days ISIS laid exposed in the open desert. The US military could have annihilated them and finish the ISIS campaing of terror.
But they didn't! Instead they allowed ISIS to take over 320 out of the 352 villages in the region and enter Kobane where it would be much more difficult for them to be targeted by air strikes. In fact, we have seen nothing major of the much advertised air campaign against ISIS. The US military released footage of strikes on some abandoned buildings and the occasional pickup truck in the middle of nowhere. they also hit an oil refinery controlled by the militants. Today the US hit a record high, executig... 8 (!) strikes against IS in Kobane. This was referred to by the administration as a "sharp increase". In contrast, during the "shock and awe" campaign against Iraq in 2003, the Americans run hundreds of sorties per day with multiple strikes per sortie.
As an excuse for this inactivity John Kerry stated that effectively that protecting Kobane and its Kurdish citizens from ISIS was not part of the US claimed strategic goals of the so called air campaign which focus on the "command centers" of ISIS - those abandoned buildings! Perhaps because the real target is not ISIS, but President Assad's government which is allied with the Kurds. Obviously the Kurds of Syria have refused to drop their support of Assad in return for protection against ISIS.
On the other side of the border, turkey, the US's closest ally and key material supporter of the anti-Assad campaign, has not only refused to help the Kurds fight off the ISIS offensive, but has cut off the Kurdish defenders of Kobane from much needed supplies and reinforcements. Speaking of ISIS and the Kurdish fighters a few days ago, Turkish president Erdogan stated that "It is wrong to consider them in different ways (...). We need to handle them all together on a common ground,". His foreign minister Davutoglu resonated this view stating that: "There is no tragedy in Kobane as cried out by the terrorist PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party]", he said. "There is a war between two terrorist groups." (1, 2).
Instead Turkey called for "co-ordinated action against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and has called for a buffer zone... preventing Syrian government aircraft from flying near the Turkish border. Turkey fears that Mr Assad's forces would be the main beneficiaries of an IS retreat."
Turkey's stance on Kobane tirggered demonstrations and rioting accross Turkey that left 10 people dead. However, these news were not featured in major media outlets.
Today the US announced that "Turkey had recently agreed to let the US use Turkish bases and territory "to train moderate Syrian opposition forces" and "engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria".
Evidently the US and Turkish aims is still fixated on theit anti-Assad crussade, rather than their anti-ISIS rhetoric - whom the West and Arab allies readily trained and armed in the past years. The anti-ISIS charade has only been orchestrated to obtain public support for a direct American military intervention against Assad in Syria.