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As ISIS Burns the Jordanian Pilot, Defeat Is At Their Door
ISIS has been on a recent public relations binge, trying to present to the world that they are a real "country" or "state" other nations need to deal with. They attempted to negotiate for the release of a woman bomber caught in Jordan years ago for a Japanese journalist. But first, they tried to get millions of dollars for him. When that failed, they tried to get a POW trade. But Jordan wanted its captured pilot back and insisted the trade include him. That failed because Jordan wanted proof of life for the pilot. That was impossible because ISIS had murdered the pilot in the first week of January 2015. But ISIS kept the body and then created a video showing the pilot being burned alive (actually, burned dead?) inside of a cage. This was to attract new warriors to join in the jihad and thwart Arab nations in attacking them.
The ISIS threat appears larger than it really is or how big they really are. After months of fighting for a small town called Kobani, the "grand" ISIS army admitted defeat after suffering over 1000 fighters at the hands of the resilient Kurdish fighters and mostly American airstrikes that continued to hammer and degrade ISIS fighters daily. As one ISIS fighter said, "there was no place to hide or was safe in the town from airstrikes and they were always around". Kobani is a miniature Stalingrad or Berlin from WW2. It was one place where constant air strikes and interdiction did work. Granted, Kurdish fighters on the ground were key and air strikes balanced the battle. Originally, about 4000 ISIS fighters fell upon Kobani defended by maybe 1000 or so Kurds in early October 2014. It was near thing for them. The battle lasted 112 days and ISIS had secured some 350 villages surrounding Kobani until moving it. Initially, ISIS held 70% of the town but when the around clock airstrikes began, no ISIS vehicle was too small for a Hellfire missile. The Kurds lost about 330 fighters. The reason why airstrikes worked was because Kobani is small and nearly all of the inhabitants had gone. During the fight, some 270 airstrikes were flown there.
Just recently, Iraqi shiite forces have retaken all of Diyala provinice, north of Baghdad. Iraqi forces indicated that while thousands of roadside bombs are around, the actual number of ISIS fighters holding onto the area was small and the operation was minimal in combat. US airstrikes also supported the operation. The Badr Brigade of the Iraqi Army led the way to free Barwana.
Things are slowly turning against ISIS.