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The Battle for Kobani and its Implications

Should the Syrian Kurdish Turkish border town of Kobani fall to the ISIL, it would embolden the the de facto organization of the ISIL -  result in the massacre of perhaps thousands of Kurds, displace hundreds more refugees to Turkey and spur greater Kurdish anger and resentment of the Turkish government creating an internal security dilemma within Turkey.

On the other hand, should the small-armed Kurdish militia repel the ISIL, it would be a much needed major psychological blow to the ISIL, thus setting up an easier effort by the International Coalition to ultimately defeat the brutal terror group.

But as it stands today, and in lieu of international boots on the ground to aid the Kurds, and with Turkey's impotence to send ground troops up against the ISIL, the Kurds stand alone with small arms against a more heavily armed ISIL. The Kurds are fighting to avert a massacre aided by international air strikes and having already lost forty-percent of the town to the ISIL in three weeks of fighting. The defense of the Kurds remains limited unless Turkey joins the ground battle, or if Turkey allows a corridor for more besieged civilians to flee and to permit larger arms across the border to outfit the fighting Kurds.

So the battle for Kobani emerges as a strategic and pivotal battle in the fight against the ISIL. If Kobani is lost, then the defeat of the ISIL could take a longer period than five years. Should the ISIL fail at the Kobani battle, the final defeat of the ISIL will take a much shorter time.