The Kobane resistance is in its 56th day. ISIS is aware that it has been broken in Kobane. The psychological impact of this loss is clearly visible on the attacking groups. This reality is most visible on the frontline and from ISIS’s internal walkie-talkie communications.
However, ISIS is still in Kobane and the battle continues. As said earlier, as long as ISIS is able to remain in Raqqa, Jarablus and Tel Abyad Kobane will remain to be a war zone. But at the same time, while ISIS continues to suffer losses in Kobane it will also be weakening in the above mentioned places. This, in short, means that a victory against ISIS in Kobane will lead to the long term defeat of ISIS in the rest of Syria. This process has begun, and may last for much of next year.
I believe that ISIS is adamant on remaining in Kobane because it too is aware of this fact. Because a possible retreat from the urban centre of Kobane to the rural surroundings will ensure the complete annihilation of ISIS. This will make them lose the psychological edge against the YPG/YPG, the Peshmerga forces and the Burkan El Firat forces; while also making them sitting ducks for the coalition airstrikes. Retreat would mean military suicide for ISIS. However, ISIS’s insistence in remaining in Kobane will mean the same thing, so we can say that in effect they have been defeated.
ISIS attacked Kobane for the interests of other forces and is now in a mess. The force that made Kobane a target for ISIS and offered it every support in its effort was and is Turkey.
The Turkish state wanted Kobane to fall, and still does. There are two reasons for this. The first, Kobane is the birthplace of the Rojava Revolution. They wanted to inflict a fatal blow on the birthplace of the revolution. Turkey does not want the Kurds of Syria to attain any rights or status as a people, and it was willing to collaborate with ISIS to this end. Second, Turkey wanted to turn ISIS’s presence on its borders into a leverage for its diplomatic efforts in regards to the Syrian crisis.
So what did the AKP government do towards these ends? Let us remember: First it thought that ISIS’s attack against Kobane will result in the fall of the town in a very short time. Under the guise of welcoming the refugees from Kobane it was going to use this against the Kurdish freedom movement and the global powers. The first scenario it envisaged did not materialise. Ankara’s plans were scuppered by the resistance in Kobane.
The next attempt was put into practice with the invitation of Salih Muslim to Ankara: Ankara had even said “we will offer every support possible, we too will strike them”. They wanted to raise expectation among the Kurds. However, after Muslim’s visit, Turkey’s support for ISIS intensified. Erdogan’s statement that “Kobane may fall very soon” showed his optimism and belief in ISIS. This once again unmasked Turkey’s policies in relation to Kobane.
Despite this, the Turkish government tried to buy time with new moves. They said that the Peshmerga and FSA must be allowed into Kobane. When saying this, Turkey thought that the Kurdistan Regional Government would not send any Peshmerga into Kobane, and in any case the PYD would not accept any Peshmerga into Kobane. We should remind ourselves that even before any of the Kurdish sides had released a statement on the matter, Erdogan had made predictions on whether the Kurds would accept such a step. However, no Kurdish force had made any comment on the sending of Peshmerga forces into Kobane. Erdogan wanted to provoke infighting amongst the Kurds.
When the Peshmerga left for Kobane, the Turks kept them waiting in Suruc for three days, during which ISIS intensified its attacks on the Mursitpinar border crossing. Their aim was to take the border crossing in order to stop the Peshmerga from actually being able to enter the city. Ankara’a plan once agains failed. The Mursitpinar border crossing was heroically defended by the YPG fighters and all the attacks were successfully repelled.
Currently, rising international pressure and Kobane’s legendary status has put Turkey in a difficult situation. Turkey has fallen into the hole that it dug. Despite this, it is too early to say that Turkey has changed its policies in regards to Kobane. And, to be honest, unless Turkey fundamentally changes its policy towards the Kurds it seems impossible for them to change their approach to Kobane. It seems as if Turkey is adamant on following an irrational anti-Kurdish policy in the near future.
The Kurdish hate of Turkish policy makers is making life difficult for them. This can only lead to a political demise. The political demise of military, cultural, political and economic colonialism can only mean liberation for the Kurds and other oppressed communities. The Kobane resistance has ensured that this new era is now within touching distance…
Follow Amed Dicle (Kurdish journalist – Med Nuce) on Twitter @AmedDcle
Published by Kurdish Question