US-led air strikes in northern Syria have failed to interrupt the advance of Islamic State (Isis) fighters closing in on a key city on the Turkish border, raising questions about the western strategy for defeating the jihadi movement.
Two weeks after the Pentagon extended its aerial campaign from Iraq to neighbouring Syria in an attempt to take on Isis militants in their desert strongholds, Kurdish fighters said the bombing campaign was having little impact in driving them back.
Kobani would be a big prize for ISIS. Its capture would be of great symbolic value, showing that the jihadists are still maintaining their momentum, and would confirm their creeping dominance along a great chunk of the Turkish-Syrian border.
When it comes to Kobani, there appears to be no U.S. intelligence effort along the border to gather information from newly arriving refugees. And with the U.S. still labeling the PKK (and therefore its Syrian offshoots) as terrorists, there are no lines of communication open to Kobani for the defenders there to call in the close-quarter airstrikes they sorely need.
There are signs in Suruc hospital of how desperate that fight is becoming, with even the untrained being thrust into the frontline, to try to stem the radical Islamists' advance.
Extremists flying the black flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham are less than an hour down the road, the future of one of the last Christian communities in the Middle East is at grave risk of assimilation or annihilation.
With ISIS an hour away, one of the only remaining Christian communities makes its ‘last stand in Iraq’
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The Islamic Republic is now leading the region's struggle against extremism and emerging global powers increasingly recognize this.