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Sunday, October 05, 2014 9:27 PM

Air Strikes on Isis Not Working; What's Next?

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Isis fighters are closing in on the city of Kobani near the Turkish border. ISIS evades air strikes simply by scattering when planes approach.

The Guardian reports Air Strikes Against Isis are not Working, say Syrian Kurds.

US-led air strikes in northern Syria have failed to interrupt the advance of Islamic State (Isis) fighters closing in on a key city on the Turkish border, raising questions about the western strategy for defeating the jihadi movement.

Almost two weeks after the Pentagon extended its aerial campaign from Iraq to neighbouring Syria in an attempt to take on Isis militants in their desert strongholds, Kurdish fighters said the bombing campaign was having little impact in driving them back.

Isis units have edged to within two kilometres of the centre of Kobani, according to Kurds fighting a rearguard action inside the city. The jihadis, who this weekend generated further outrage with the murder of the British hostage Alan Henning, are simply too numerous to be cowed by the air assault by US fighter jets, the Kurds say.

“Air strikes alone are really not enough to defeat Isis in Kobani,” said Idris Nassan, a senior spokesman for the Kurdish fighters desperately trying to defend the important strategic redoubt from the advancing militants. “They are besieging the city on three sides, and fighter jets simply cannot hit each and every Isis fighter on the ground.”

He said Isis had adapted its tactics to military strikes from the air. “Each time a jet approaches, they leave their open positions, they scatter and hide. What we really need is ground support. We need heavy weapons and ammunition in order to fend them off and defeat them.”
What's Next?

Most likely the US will drop more and more bombs, with 20% of the bombs finding the right targets, 40% the wrong targets, and the remaining 40% doing nothing. This will be labeled as a "success".

However, many so-called moderates will get fed up with US action and join ISIS.

Then, after another beheading or two, Obama will send in more ground troops and weapons, but purportedly only for training and aiding moderates who will take the weapons and training in directions contrary to the stated intentions.

My Take

The US and UK  should issue a  travel advisory labeled "beheadings happen". The advisory should tell everyone, including journalists to get the hell out of the region and if they don't, they are on their own.

Tax dollars should not go to protect those who voluntarily put themselves in harm's way. This is not a disparaging comment on journalists, who choose to do what they do. I commend them for wanting to get the story out.

Rather, my comments are a simple practical matter: The US has no obligation to protect anyone who voluntarily puts themselves in harm's way outside the US.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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