ISIS may have conquered significant portions of Syria in the past, but holding on to it could be proving difficult in the face of American air strikes and coalition partners on the ground. In the latest sign that ISIS, also known as ISIL or Islamic State, may not be here to stay, Kurdish forces in Syria are taking territory and moving closer to the ISIS ‘capital city’ in Syria.
The Daily Star, citing a spokesman for the Kurdish forces, said they had moved within seven kilometers, or 4.4 miles, of a smaller city in northern Syria that is on the path to the ISIS ‘capital’ of Raqqa. The Kurdish forces had previously taken a bordercrossing town near the Turkish-Syrian border.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was cited by The Daily Star as saying the Kurdish forces had taken significant portions of a Syrian army base ISIS had previously captured. Taking the base would effectively result in taking the small northern city nearby, said the Syrian Observatory, and move the coalition forces one step closer to ISIS’ Syrian homebase.
The Daily Star noted the Kurds had received help from US airstrikes and other rebel forces in Syria. The Americans sound confident about eventually defeating ISIS, but last week acknowledged it could take years.
In comments to reporters on Friday, US spokesman John Kirby was quoted by a State Department press release as saying they have “had success” against ISIS in Iraq and in Syria.
“Is it over?” asked Kirby. “Nope. And we’ve been honest that it’s going to take about three to five years. This is still a deadly, lethal group that still is intent on holding ground and on improving their own situation. It’s going to take some time.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 22, 2015)