Current Event: US airdrops supplies for Kurds fighting against ISIS

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Surveying the destruction: Kurds watch the smoke rising over Kobane at sunset from Turkish territory

ISIS is a group who rules by sharia law and whose aim is to create an Islamic state across Sunni areas of Iraq and Syria. They are known for killing dozens of people at a time and carrying out public executions, crucifixions, and other acts. The group currently holds hundreds of square miles and ignores international borders. The United States and many other countries have designated ISIS as a terrorist organization.

Further escalating its engagement in Syria, the United States is airdropping military supplies for Kurds defending Syria-Turkey border town Kobane from ISIS. The officials said the airdrops had been discussed by U.S. officials “for a number of days” after it came to their attention that the Kurdish fighters were running low on supplies.  US Secretary of State John Kerry said the decision to carry out the airdrops was made because it would be “irresponsible” and “morally very difficult” not to support the Kurdish fighters. President Barack Obama called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday to discuss the situation in Syria and notify him of the plan to make airdrops. This is a significant because Turkey previously has said it would oppose any U.S. arms transfers to its longtime foe the Kurdish rebels.

Turkey finds itself in a difficult situation as international pressure mounts on the NATO member to play a more active role against Islamic State militants. Helping supply Iraqi Kurds in the fight against ISIS is crucial because if not it could give ISIS a strategic foothold on the doorstep of major NATO ally Turkey and it would show the world that US airstrikes are not enough to stop its advance in the region. If this key Syrian-Turkish border town falls, ISIS would remain strong despite the immense firepower thrown against it by the US and its allies.

On a conference call with reporters Sunday night after the mission’s completion, the officials said it’s possible that further support for the Kurdish fighters is likely, though it may occur in different forms. One official characterized the aid provided to the Kurdish fighters as “the type of material that would help them sustain this fight.” “Combined with continued resistance to ISIL on the ground, indications are that these strikes have slowed ISIL advances into the city, killed hundreds of their fighters and destroyed or damaged scores of pieces of ISIL combat equipment and fighting positions,” U.S. Central Command said in the statement.



Fulya Ozerkan with Sara Hussein in Beirut. “US Aridrops in Kobane.” Yahoo! News. Yahoo!, 19 Jan. 0000. Web. 20 Oct. 2014.



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