Middle East News

ISIS Close To Seizing Syrian Border Town

Kobani, the strategic Syrian town that borders Turkey, is close to falling into the Islamic State’s hands as the militants plunge deeper into the city, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned on Tuesday.

While he urged the United States to intensify aerial attacks against the militants, Erdogan warned that it’s not enough to  defeat ISIS. He also called on the international community to arm and aid moderate Syrian rebels, Reuters reported.

“The problem of ISIS (Islamic State) … cannot be solved via air bombardment. Right now … Kobani is about to fall,” Erdogan said during a visit to a camp for Syrian refugees. “We had warned the West. We wanted three things. No-fly zone, a secure zone parallel to that, and the training of moderate Syrian rebels.”

The likelihood that the town could be captured by the Islamic State increases pressure on Turkey to join the U.S.-led coalition against the militants.

Islamic State intends to capture Kobani in order to strengthen its grip on the border area and consolidate the territorial gains it has achieved in Iraq and Syria in recent months. U.S.-led air strikes have failed so far, to prevent its advance on the area.

Erdogan’s remarks did not signify any shift in Turkey’s position. He maintained that the country wants to see a more comprehensive plan for Syria before it commits to military involvement in the U.S.-led coalition, the Associated Press reported.

This attitude towards the conflict and the U.S., Turkey’s long-time ally, frustrates the Obama administration, The New York Times reported.

“There’s a growing angst about Turkey dragging its feet to act to prevent a massacre less than a mile from its border,” a senior administration official said.

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