Situation in the Syrian city of Kobani battling the Islamic State offensive remains “tenuous,” though the Kurdish forces are in control over major parts of the town, the Pentagon has said. “The situation in Kobani still remains tenuous. We do assess that Kurdish forces in the city are in control of the majority of the city,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said on Tuesday.
IS forces continue to threaten it. The United States continued with more airstrikes, he added. “We are continuing to hit targets in and around there to help the Kurdish forces as they continue to fight against ISIL. So it’s still a very mixed, contested environment,” Kirby said. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, however, said humanitarian situation in Kobani over the last several weeks has been “particularly bad.”
“We have seen ISIL Fighters conducting attacks in and around Kobani that have killed or injured innocent civilians,” he said. Because of ISIL’s focus on this particular town in Syria, has raised the stakes of this conflict, he said.
The Press Secretary added that by shifting resources to that particular conflict, it created an additional set of targets for US military air strikes to hit.
The US is closely watching the situation in Kobani, he said. US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it conducted four airstrikes, while three others were conducted by its partner nation forces. “In Syria, four airstrikes near Kobani destroyed ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL building, and a large ISIL unit. In Iraq, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL fighting position south of the Bayji oil refinery,” it said.
“Another airstrike southeast of Mosul Dam destroyed one ISIL fighting position and an airstrike north of Fallujah suppressed an ISIL attack. All aircraft exited the strike areas safely. Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports,” it said. At the Pentagon news conference, Kirby gave credit to the Kurdish forces, which have fought ISIL to a standstill.
“The constant pressure from the air, the pressure from the ground by these Kurdish forces has done a lot to keep ISIL at bay from taking the whole town,” he said.