On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the U.S.was deeply concerned about what he called the “tragedy” in the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobani, where militants fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) have been tightening their grip.
Kerry said in a press conference that it would take time to bring a coalition fully together to confront the militants, adding that the focus must first be on Iraq while degrading Islamic State in Syria.
“Obviously we are all very concerned about the reports of gains in Kobane and we’re closely monitoring the situation. In fact, we’re not just monitoring it, we’ve been deeply engaged with strikes in the last days and today there wore more strikes,” said Kerry.
“There was news today that they are continuing to hold it down, it has not been taken in completion, parts of it have.”
Kurdish forces defending Kobane at the border with Turkey urged a U.S.-led coalition to escalate air strikes against IS militants.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Kurdish forces faced inevitable defeat in Kobani if Turkey did not open its border to let through arms – something Ankara has so far appeared reluctant to do.
Kerry said more than 60 partners have committed to joining the U.S. effort to defeat Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria it controls.
“Kobani is one community and it’s a tragedy what is happening there and we don’t diminish that, but we have said from day one it was going to take a period of time to bring the coalition thoroughly to the table,” said Kerry.
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