Why ISIS fights for Kobane?


IS militants are struggling to capture the Syrian border city of Kobane for its strategic location. File photo

ARA News

Aleppo, Syria – The Kurdish city of Kobane in northern Syria is witnessing one of the most fierce battles between Kurds and the radical group of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, which is struggling to control of the strategic city and broaden the territory of the recently announced Caliphate.

The IS group, till the moment, could not seize the city because they faced fierce resistance by the Kurdish fighters of the Popular Protection Units (YPG).

Kobane is of a strategic importance for both conflicting sides, according to observers.

The city of Kobane, located at the Syrian-Turkish border, 150 km from the city of Aleppo in northern Syria. The Kobane area consists of 384 villages (mostly evacuated now), and its population exceeds 460 thousand people with a Kurdish majority.

Seizing control of the city provides undisputed geographic contiguity in areas on the border between Syria and Turkey.

The strategic importance of Kobane stems from being the third predominantly Kurdish majority city in Syria, after Qamishli (Qamishlo) and Afrin.

The extremists’ control over the city may enable them to connect the areas under their control on the Syrian-Turkish border line, starting from Kobane to Azaz and ending with al-Ra’ee area in distance up to 136 km, and then securing the geographical border of the Islamic State (Caliphate) with Turkey.

Kobane (also named Ain al-Arab) is also deemed a vital transportation knot, linking Turkey with Iraqi border crossing of Tel Kocher (Yarubia) with a highway, as well as linking Aleppo with the oil-rich area of Rumailan in far northeastern Syria.

Taking over Kobane will also enable IS militants to control the main highway between the provinces of Aleppo, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

This way, extremists of IS will be able to easily move between these major Syrian cities as well as creating a united entity linking Iraq to Turkey across 40% of the Syrian territory.


Reporting by: Lamia al-Halabi

Source: ARA News

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