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What's Really at Stake in ISIS's Fight for Kobani

10-20-2014
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Kurdish forces fighting to protect the critical Syrian city of Kobani from the Islamic State received additional weapons and ammunition over the weekend.

The U.S. military says it airdropped the arms on Sunday, along with medical supplies.
    
A spokesman for Kurdish forces says the weapons will "help greatly" in the battle against ISIS. Still, he says the Syrian Kurds hope for more.
    
The jihadist army currently controls around half of Kobani, which is in a strategic location along the Syrian-Turkish border.
    
The intense battle for Kobani is more important for symbolic reasons than strategic because ISIS wants a propaganda victory in the midst of U.S.-led airstrikes.
    
Over the weekend the U.S. used its air power to destroy a Syrian oil refinery held by ISIS. Oil facilities captured by the terror group have netted it as much as $2 million a day.

Sunday's airstrike has helped push back Islamic State jihadists.

"And if he continues to present us with major targets, as he has done in the Kobani area, then clearly we'll service those targets, and we've done so very, very effectively here of late," said Gen. Lloyd J. Austin, head of Central Command.

U.S. leaders admit Kobani could still be lost, but they say the real goal is to degrade ISIS overall and its ability to wage war.
   
Meanwhile, the number of refugees left by the jihadist rampage is staggering.

"In the nearly four years of this crisis, 900,000 people have been registered as refugees here in Turkey. The reality is that the numbers are nearer to 1.6 million," U.N. Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos said.

U.S. leaders say the primary focus is still fighting ISIS in Iraq, but it's clearly trying to stop the Islamic State jihadists from taking Kobani in Syria.
    
If the city falls, it will not only be a strategic and propaganda victory for ISIS. It will be seen in the region as a defeat for the Americans and their allies and become a recruiting tool for ISIS on social media.

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