Tal Abyad Is Why America Should Arm the Kurdish Army
Why is America so reluctant to arm directly the Kurdish Army in Northern Iraq? It is all political fear and paranoia and President Obama has refused. Sure, the Kurds get limited arms from the USA via Baghdad because Obama refuses to recognize the Kurds as a political entity. But with Baghdad so corrupt and the shia\sunni factions that control it refuse to allow, again, for political fear of paranoia, many arms to go to the Kurds, one solution is being held back. That solution is to arm the Kurds with heavy weapons directly and allow them to take the offensive with US advisors to allow for air support. The Kurdish Army is large and defiant against ISIS when Iraqi soldiers run and flee.
When ISIS first began its rampage through Iraq and Syria, the brakes were applied when they met the Kurds. Instead of fighting a prolonged battle of attrition, ISIS went for the easy targets where little resistance prevailed. That was the first time. The second time was at Kobani, where the Kurds, alone, defended the town against overwhelming odds, around 4000 ISIS battled 800 Kurds. While the US did provide air support, it was the Kurds that held and fought every meter of that town that is known as a "Little Stalingrad". After months of fighting, ISIS had enough and sought easier targets. Of course, Kobani was totally leveled, but the Kurds held it even though Turkish tanks were within fire range and did not assist (Turkey hates the Kurds). The third time was at Tal Abyad, where the Kurdish Army attacked and with US air support chased ISIS out of the key town. The town controls the only road to ISIS' capital of Raqqa from Turkey. ISIS receives supplies and fighters along this key road and now their supply route is blocked. The capture also links other Kurd forces in the area that had been isolated. Much of Northern Syria in parts are now under Kurd control and could be used as a safe haven for refugees. Tal Abyad was defended by 200+ ISIS fighters who sent out SOS calls for reinforcements or they would retreat. Airstrikes prevented this from happening.
It is crystal clear that the Kurds are the best in Iraq and when supported by US airstrikes, can push ISIS back. Of course, none of this is happening because Baghdad does not want to lose control of Iraq to the Kurds and neither does Iran. So, because Obama is incapable of acting like a leader, he must have Baghdad's approval with all arms to the Kurds. Baghdad may approve some and not other weapons and then keep them for themselves. They know the Kurdish Army has proven it is far better and it is embarrassing. Even the goal to train 24,000 Iraqi men by October has failed because recruitment is 17,000 short!
Arm the Kurds, do not worry about what Turkey, Syria or Iraq has to say. That would be the first step to destroying ISIS.