“We believe that we have killed several hundred ISIL fighters in and around Kobani,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters in Washington on Wednesday.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – The Pentagon has said ISIL still stands the chance of seizing the Syrian town of Kobani despite US-led airstrikes that have resulted in the deaths of “several hundred” ISIL terrorists.
Kirby also said that most of people living in Kobani have fled the town with the ISIL militants trying to seize the control of the mainly Kurdish town.
Despite the intensified US air raids, Kirby said that the city “could still fall, it could very well still fall”, calling it a “setback”.
The United States and its allies carried out nearly two dozen airstrikes against ISIL terrorists around Kobani on Monday and Tuesday.
The Pentagon spokesman added that the ISIL group has explicitly indicated that they want to occupy Kobani hence increasingly sending fighters to the town.
However he noted that US operation in this strategic town is much more extensive, saying as the chances are that other towns and villages “will either fall to ISIL or we may not be able to dislodge them for quite some time.”
His remarks came as White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that early evidence showed the US-led air campaign against ISIL was succeeding.
“No one has thought that these airstrikes would dramatically lead to victories overnight,” Earnest said on Tuesday. “They would be more effective if there was a ground force to take the fight to ISIL and that force doesn’t yet exist.”
Kobani and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September, with ISIL militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages.
ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Some analysts have long maintained that the United States and its allies have seized on the ISIL threat to target the Syrian government. The US and its allies have been accused of funding and arming the insurgency in Syria.