US-led strikes on ISIL intensify in Kobane

White House says air campaign succeeding as planes conduct 22 raids in 24 hours on fighters trying to take Syrian town.

    US-led strikes on ISIL intensify in Kobane
    ISIL fighters still control strategic areas around Kobane, Al Jazeera sources said [AP]

    The US-led coalition has stepped up its attacks on ISIL around the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane, launching 22 air raids in 24 hours as the White House said its strategy was succeeding.

    US Central Command, the US military authority in the Middle East, said on Tuesday it and allied forces had conducted the attacks in and around Kobane, which has been under siege by ISIL for weeks.

    The number of air raids is the largest in a single 24-hour period since the coalition began its bombing of ISIL in Syria.
    "Indications are that air strikes have slowed ISIL advances," it said, adding however that the situation remained fluid.

    Analysis: Can US strategy defeat ISIL?

    Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said later that the US did not want to see the town fall to ISIL and that early evidence indicated its air campaign was succeeding. He acknowledged however that it could only go so far.

    "No one has thought that these air strikes would dramatically lead to victories overnight," he said. "They would be more effective if there was a ground force to take the fight to ISIL and that force doesn't yet exist."
    US and Saudi jets destroyed two staging areas, destroyed or damaged three buildings occupied by ISIL and damaged three other compounds, the Central Command said in its statement.
    Inside Story: Air strikes on Syria, help or hindrance?

    Contrary to reports in other media, the attacks had not forced ISIL to withdraw from a strategic hill overlooking the town, according to Al Jazeera sources, 

    Commanders from many of the coalition's militaries are meanwhile meeting at Andrews air base in Washington.

    It is the first time such high-ranking officials from so many countries have held talks since the US-led coalition was formed last month.

    Issues likely to be discussed include the effectiveness of its campaign so far, and the training of a force capable of countering ISIL in Syria. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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