This was at least a step: “U.S. Troops to Use Bases in Turkey.” (from the NY Times)
I think it is against Turkey’s interest to have troops beginning a campaign against ISIS, when the US, who has forced this coalition together, and who has played a big role in originating this mess has not done the same. Reinforcing Kobane is not the logical move to make. I just want to see them do it as a gut desire.
Besides, the YPG have not asked for the Turkish military to join them in combat. They have asked for the opposite. What they want now is just for Turkey to make the border not one-sided, to allow PKK and YPG fighters on the other side of the fence come through with supplies in addition to allowing refugees to flee. I think that is a good compromise. Turkey gets to stay out militarily and delay a confrontation with ISIS for a little while longer. I use the word delay, because I think inevitably, ISIS will attack Turkey, even if Turkey has purchased ISIS oil, even if Turkey was extra-loose in allowing people to cross its border to join IS (with some proposing that they wanted to do this to weaken the YPG and PYD, though there is no concrete evidence of this conspiracy that I have come across).
This siege reminds me of the First Battle of Bull Run, in which spectators came to observe the battle. You have journos, Kurds, and Turkish military observing the battle, documenting it on Instagram, fighters posting from their phone to Youtube and Twitter during lulls in combat. The proximity of Kobane to the border, and the relative safety the border still affords because ISIS does not want to engage Turkey yet is something, for lack of a better word, fortunate for the YPG. Lots of other towns and villages are being overrun and destroyed, with no additional airstrikes there because of a lack of media attention. Anbar province is about to fall, opening a direct route to besieging Baghdad. The Islamic Front, relative moderates, in Aleppo are getting torn apart by simultaneous attacks from both the government and ISIS. As depicted in the Vice doc, “Ghosts of Aleppo,” they are using slingshot grenades as artillery. Some YPG soldiers in Kobane have complained about the airstrikes doing nothing. I find that to be a patently false and mistaken sentiment. Daesh had to change their tactics to protect their artillery and tanks. A few tanks have been destroyed. Those things are terrifying against light infantry (which the YPG are). They’ve called for reinforcements. Without airstrikes, Kobane would have likely fallen already. The airstrikes have at least delayed the fall of the city.
It’s fascinating starting to recognize some of the people being killed on Twitter. One day, a remark on someone’s courage, tenacity, shrewdness in combat. A couple days later, the same guy pops up, except with the bullet hole where his left eye once was. A couple years ago, Twitter was hailed as a great enabler of democracy in the Arab Spring. Now, it is demonized as an incredibly effective disperser of Daesh shock propaganda. History is funny, isn’t it?
A single Hellfire missile fired from a drone costs $58,000, evoking worn comparisons to college tuition. Wouldn’t it be funny if you could tell the U.S. government where your tax money could go to, like college donations?
“Give to area of greatest need.”