While many were predicting the complete fall of Kobani some time ago, the back and forth battle continues to go on. ISIS seems to be far from defeated, but allied fighters hit them with additional airstrikes this weekend. In response, ISIS was firing mortars not only at Kobani targets, but landing a few shells inside Turkey as well.
U.S.-led coalition jets pounded suspected Islamic State targets at least six times in the besieged Syrian town of Kobani on Saturday after the fiercest shelling in days by the insurgents shook the town’s center and hit border areas within Turkey.
Shelling continued after the strikes hit the center of Kobani. Several mortars fell inside Turkey near the border gate, called Mursitpinar, according to witnesses.
Islamic State militants have battled Kurdish fighters for a month to take control of Kobani and consolidate a 60 mile (95 km) stretch of land they control along the Turkish border, but stepped-up air strikes in recent days have helped Kurds fend off the advance.
The response from Turkey? Nothing thus far. And if they were going to do anything substantial, you might suppose getting shelled would be the perfect excuse. This Reuters report describes the Turks as a somewhat reluctant member of the coalition thus far, but you have to begin wondering at what point they cease being considered a member at all. After initially signaling that they might, Turkey is still refusing to allow the US to use air bases in their country to carry out these strikes. If they wanted to do it themselves rather than having Americans landing at their bases, the Turks have an army of roughly half a million men, along with an air force boasting nearly 1,000 warplanes. Being right on the border, one would think they could essentially crush ISIS if they were really of a mind to.
Ever since Ahmet Davutoglu took over as Prime Minister this August, it has increasingly seemed as if Turkey is unwilling to pay more than lip service to their supposed allies. Of course, this is the same guy who allegedly threatened to declare war on Israel in the past and hasn’t exactly warmed up to them since taking power. While Turkey doesn’t seem to be friendly with ISIS, they are far more concerned with going after the Kurds, so I don’t imagine we’ll be seeing much help from them in the days to come, either.