News & Politics

U.S. and Turkish-Backed Forces Attack ISIS, Are Quickly Repelled. Chaos Is Coming to the Turkish-Syrian Border

Syrians carry a rebel injured during fighting with the Syrian army in the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, background behind border gate, to the Turkish city of Akcakale on the Turkey-Syria border, Turkey, Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. Turkey's state-run news agency says Turkish troops have returned fire after a mortar shell from Syria again landed on its territory. Turkish artillery has fired at Syrian targets for two straight days after shelling from Syria killed five civilians in Turkey. The Turkish flag, left, and the three star Syrian rebel flag, right, fly over the border post. (AP Photo)

American and Turkish-backed forces have launched an offensive in the Turkish-Syrian border region. However, ISIS is fighting back. Aggressively. The Western-allied forces are being pushed back, and many refugee camps are in danger of being conquered by ISIS.

The Wall Street Journal:

Islamic State militants have responded with a fierce counteroffensive that has repelled the U.S.-backed fighters from key towns and triggered an exodus of families from camps temporarily seized by the extremist group.

One worker in the region told the the Wall Street Journal that the “entire Syrian-Turkish border region is on fire now.” And that’s not an exaggeration. From the looks of it, this thing could truly explode, if it hasn’t exploded already.

One of the biggest fears I have is that refugee camps in the border region will be occupied and after that, completely and utterly destroyed by ISIS:

Islamic State took control of several camps and burned some tents before they were pushed out by Syrian forces backed by the U.S. and its allies, aid workers said Friday.

“At dawn [on Thursday] we heard gunshots near the camp,” a Syrian in one of the camps was quoted as saying by Human Rights Watch. “A short while later, ISIS arrived and used a loudspeaker to tell us we all had to leave.”

These people are sitting ducks. They’re just waiting for ISIS to come in and commit yet another massacre. Unless, that is, the anti-ISIS coalition steps it up a notch and finally encircles ISIS’ capital of Raqqa. Doing so would cut off ISIS’ supply routes and isolate its capital from the rest of its territory in Syria and Iraq.

However, doing so requires a major successful offensive. Sadly, it seems like the U.S. and Turkish-backed forces just don’t have the military might to do so. ISIS has repelled their offensive and is striking back with a vengeance.

With the aid of Turkish artillery fire and U.S. airstrikes, the Syrian fighters seized the Syrian border town of al-Rai last Friday, but were forced to retreat within days when Islamic State launched a counteroffensive.

Turkey is calling on the U.S. and its allies to create a safe zone in northern Syria (or to give Turkey permission to do so), but the weak-willed President Obama isn’t having any of it.

The reason? He deems it too “dangerous” and “difficult” to protect.

A war is dangerous and difficult? Who would’ve thunk?

I’m no fan of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan but he is right for once: ISIS can only be defeated by a serious military force that knows what it’s doing and that has the funds and manpower to fight a prolonged war. The U.S. and Turkish-backed rebels are a great extra addition to such a force, but they can’t be its core; they’re simply too weak.