US Officials: Islamic State can take Kobani, its not our concern


A key Syrian border town, Kobani, will soon fall to the Islamic State (IS) but that's not a major US concern, several senior US officials said.

IS has been fighting to take control of Kobani for the past two weeks. If they take the town, the Jihadists would control a complete swath of land that stretches for more than 100 kilometres between their self-declared capital of Raqqa, in eastern Syria, and Turkey.

The US officials told CNN that the primary goals of the US-led airstrikes are actually not to save Syrian cities and towns, but to go after IS senior leadership, oil refineries and other infrastructure that would curb the terror group's ability to operate - particularly in Iraq.

For weeks now, a US-led coalition has been striking IS targets in Syria and Iraq from the air.

Saving Iraq is a more strategic goal for several reasons, the officials said.

The US has a relationship with the Iraqi government and in contrast wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gone.

Another reason is that the US has partners on the ground in Iraq, including Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters known as Peshmerga. In Syria, it has none although it has previously hinted on helping moderate rebels from the Free Syrian Army to topple the Assad regime.

On Tuesday, a top UN official appealed to world leaders to take action in Syria as the Syrian Kurdish fighters defending Kobani are desperately outmatched by IS on the field.

"They have been defending themselves with great courage. But they are now very close to not being able to do so," said Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy for Syria.

"They are fighting with normal weapons, whereas the IS has got tanks and mortars."

"The international community needs to defend them," de Mistura added. "The international community cannot sustain another city falling under IS."

Photo caption: Syrian Kurds flee the fighting in Kobane.