Analysis of international affairs and current crises
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The New Yorker
A Victory in Kobani? By Robin Wright
The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has suffered its first major defeat in Syria. An unusual
coalition—Kurdish warriors fighting room to room on the ground and Western
warplanes bombing on a daily basis from the skies—has forced the militants out
of Kobani, a dusty Syrian town that was built around a train stop near the
Turkish border a century ago.
Kurds hoisted their yellow flag atop Kobani’s highest hill late on
Monday, to replace the Islamic State’s black-and-white banner. The fighters,
who had only vintage arms, danced by firelight into the night. U.S. Central
Command praised the Kurds for fighting “aggressively, with resilience and
fortitude.” Since October, Kobani has been the test case for American power
against the jihadi onslaught.