The United States and its allies have carried out 21 airstrikes against ISIL terrorists around the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani in 24 hours, with the White House saying its strategy is succeeding.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement on Tuesday that the strikes were “designed to interdict ISIL reinforcements … and prevent ISIL from massing combat power on the Kurdish held portions” of the town.
“Indications are that airstrikes have slowed ISIL advances,” said CENTCOM, the US military authority in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia.
However, it added that “the security situation on the ground there remains fluid, with ISIL attempting to gain territory and Kurdish militia continuing to hold out.”
Meanwhile, 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,” he said. “They would be more effective if there was a ground force to take the fight to ISIL and that force doesn’t yet exist.”
The head of the administration in Kobani says that US-led campaigns are fruitless because they have failed to prevent ISIL militants from advancing toward the city.
Kobani and its surroundings have been under attack since mid-September, with ISIL militants capturing dozens of nearby Kurdish villages.
The intense fighting for the strategic town has forced some 200,000 people to take refuge in Turkey.
ISIL militants made swift advances in much of northern and western Iraq over the summer, after capturing large swaths of northern Syria.
Since September 23, 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.