Islamic State: What has Kobane battle taught us? -BBC


This came out just before the Kurds claimed to have retaken Kobane.

1. Kobane is not “strategically” important.
2. Both IS and the Pentagon chose to fight there for propaganda reasons.
3. Geography has been critical.
4. By concentrating in one area, IS gives its enemies the opportunity to kill them.
5. By distracting IS from the battle in western Iraq, it is in the coalition’s interest to keep Kobane going for as long as possible.

Kobane Complications: “After repelling ISIL, PKK fighters are the new heroes of Kurdistan” -Al Jazeera


The battle in Kobane was nothing if not dramatic. Kurdish fighters affiliated with the PKK appeared on the verge of defeat but rallied to push ISIS out of the town on the Syrian-Turkish border.
See Kurdish official: ISIS and their flag gone from Kobane

The sudden reversal of fortune has made the PKK heroes for the moment. Not surprisingly, this will not make Turkey happy. Reportedly, one of the reasons they sat back while ISIS advanced on the town was they hoped a PKK defeat would undermine the group’s popularity. It will also complicate politics in Kurdish Iraq. The PKK are now more popular there than they had been in the past, which may upset the political balance maintained between the two main Kurdish factions in the region, the PUK and KDP. It may also complicate the Kurdish Regional Government’s (KRG) relationship with Turkey. The KRG had cultivated close relations with Ankara as a trading partner and in the hope that they would be eventually be willing to accept increased KRG sovereignty. If the PKK becomes a player in KRG politics, or if the KRG becomes more supportive of PKK political demands, that relationship will likely suffer.

Kurdish rivals unite to fight Islamic State

After repelling ISIL, PKK fighters are the new heroes of Kurdistan