The Future of Mosul is Kobane
Saturday March 7, 2015
It was necessary to destroy the Syrian town of Kobane (above) in order to save it from ISIS. The rubble and ruin of what was once a place more than 200,000 people lived is now free. Want to know the future of Mosul? Look to Kobane.
Kobane once mattered nearly nothing at all, at least when ISIS was winning there in the face of NATO-ally Turkey choosing not to intervene. In October 2014, Secretary of State John Kerry, said preventing the fall of Kobani was not a strategic US objective. “As horrific as it is to watch in real time what is happening in Kobane, you have to step back and understand the strategic objective.” That objective was something about destroying ISIS’ command centers.
After the US abandoned the goal of bringing Turkey into the fight, and, against Turkey’s wishes, facilitated the movement of Kurdish forces across Iraq to attack Kobane, the city suddenly did become a US strategic objective. Speaking a little over two months after his earlier dismissive statement, Kerry said with the recapture of the Kurdish city of Kobane, ISIS was “forced to acknowledge its own defeat. Daesh – ISIL as some know it – has said all along that Kobane was a real symbolic and strategic objective.” Kerry continued to say that pushing ISIS out of Kobane was “a big deal.”
By all accounts, the over 700 airstrikes the US conducted on a round-the-clock basis on Kobane devastated the town. The civilian death toll has never been calculated. No plans to rebuild the city have been announced. Kobane was saved from ISIS by destroying it.