White House Takes Credit For Kurdish Fighters Victory Over ISIS
And if they lost?
The White House claimed credit Tuesday for a victory by Kurdish fighters over the Islamic State in northern Syria, saying the battlefield success is a direct result of military decisions by President Obama late last year.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the triumph by Syrian Kurds in the town of Tal Abyad “is actually a direct consequence of an earlier military operation that President Obama ordered” to break the siege of the Syrian city of Kobani last fall.
“Because of the president’s decision to order the air drop of significant resources and equipments and reinforcements, and because we were able to work with Turkey to allow for additional forces to enter that city, we saw that coalition … backed by coalition airstrikes, of course … drive [the Islamic State]out of Khobani,” he said. “And over the last several months, those forces have steadily driven east across northern Syria.”
Kurdish fighters took control on Tuesday of Tal Abyad near the Turkish border, dealing a major blow to the Islamic State by cutting off a key supply line to its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa.
Mr. Earnest said the Kurdish victory is “an indication that when the 62-member coalition that President Obama has built against ISIL can back up the efforts of local forces fighting ISIL on the ground, that that is a recipe for success.”