You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on archive.defense.gov, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

DoD News

Bookmark and Share

 News Article

ISIL Forces Concentrating Around Kobani, Official Says

By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2014 – While the Syrian border town of Kobani is itself not a strategic location, the number of airstrikes in the area has increased due to the concentration of terrorists there from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Pentagon press secretary said today.

“ISIL has made no secret of the fact that they want that town,” he said, “...And so they have continued to flow fighters to Kobani, meaning there are more targets in and around Kobani,” Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.

With much of the civilian population of the Kurdish town having fled, coalition forces have been able to increase the number of airstrikes, he explained.

“We believe that the great majority of the population of that town has evacuated and left, and we -- it ranges every day, but it's in the realm of the hundreds or so of people left there,” Kirby said.

Battle damage assessments indicate that coalition airstrikes have killed several hundred ISIL fighters in and around Kobani, he said.

Weather has been a secondary factor contributing to the increased concentration of coalition forces on Syria, the admiral said.

“The weather in central Iraq has not been overly conducive to air operations,” Kirby said. Rather than waiting out the weather, Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the U.S. Central Command commander, has allocated additional assets to the fight in and around Kobani, the admiral said.

“I would also say -- and I think it's important for people to understand -- Kobani could still fall. It could very well still fall,” Kirby noted.

While the coalition airstrikes have made it more difficult for ISIL to sustain itself and to operate, he said, the situation on the ground remains fluid.

“We do know that the Kurdish militias there are fighting hard to keep the town and that we do believe that our airstrikes have helped them in that, that ISIL still threatens Kobani, but that they're holding it,” Kirby said.

(Follow Claudette Roulo on Twitter: @roulododnews)

 

Contact Author

Related Sites:
The Defense Department on Facebook
The Defense Department on Twitter
DoD News on Facebook
DoD News on Twitter
DoDLive Blog
DoD Video News
Special Report: Targeted Operations Against ISIL Terrorists in Iraq


Additional Links

Stay Connected