Airpower, the Kurds, and Pushing Back ISIS

Several factors contributed to the routing of ISIS forces from the Syrian city of Kobani: persistent coalition airpower, a supply line from Turkey, and local Kurdish fighters who helped improve coalition targeting, said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby on Tuesday. However, the success at Kobani should not be interpreted as a template for future anti-ISIS operations, he told reporters in the Pentagon. The anti-ISIS air coalition had a “reliable partner” on the ground with the Kurdish forces, who received aerial resupply in the early days of the siege and helped improve targeting intelligence on ISIS forces in and around the city, said Kirby. A “significant development” was also the Turkish government’s decision to allow land resupply of the Kurdish forces through Turkey, he said. Pushing back ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria is going to be hard work, said Kirby. There should be no “underestimation of how hard this is going to be,” he noted. (Kirby tra?nscript)