The Pentagon revised its assessment of the security situation in the Syrian city of Kobani after USAF C-130s airdropped bundles of weapons, ammunition, and medical supplies to besieged Kurdish fighters. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said Kurdish forces now control “the majority of the city,” but conditions remain tenuous. US and coalition aircraft flew six more airstrikes in and around the city on Monday and early Tuesday. Kirby said the US did not get involved in the inventory of the supplies dropped, but Kurdish officials in Iraq arranged the supplies and requested the airlift. Kirby would not comment on discussions with the Turkish government or whether the Turks would or would not allow the land transport of resupply through Turkey to Kobani, which sits on the Turkish border. “Air relief was determined to be the best, most efficient way to deliver supplies in this case,” he said, adding it is likely the US may determine future air resupply sorties could be used in the campaign against ISIS. The strikes and air resupply have helped degrade ISIS capabilities, such as key equipment and vehicles in addition to killing several hundred fighters. Since the group lacks maintenance capability for many vehicles, the losses degrade the group’s overall capability, Kirby noted.
As the U.S. continues to pursue a diplomatic resolution with Russia over its troop buildup on the Ukraine border, the Defense Department is looking into what capabilities it will need to reassure NATO allies if Russia does launch an invasion, its top spokesperson said Jan. 21.