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.”
Update: What exactly did Obama do?
Via FOX News
The Kurds are enjoying increasing success against ISIS, and not only are they doing it without the U.S. weapons they seek, they often find themselves going up against American-made equipment.
In Syria, Kurdish Peshmerga forces captured the key city of Tal Abyad from ISIS on Monday, the latest in a string of Kurdish victories over the black-clad jihadist army in Iraq and Syria. Leaders of the ethnic army told FoxNews.com recently that they could be even more effective if U.S. weapons went to them instead of the enemy, which has seized massive amounts of American weaponry from the Iraqi forces it has defeated in battle.
“What America has given to Iraq in the past, what Iraq borrowed from Russia and U.S., ISIS has,” said Peshmerga commander Kemal Kerkuki. “They are using many, many, mines, C4, TNT, snipers, mortars; they have Humvees, they have tanks, they have different kinds of weapons.”
U.S. military aid is distributed through Baghdad, which has an arm’s length relationship with the semi-autonomous Kurds in the north. Without direct aid, the Kurds have largely made do with aging equipment and weapons they seize from ISIS.
“The weapons of [ISIS] are 10 times that of the Peshmerga,” said Maj. Gen. Sirwan Barzani, another Kurdish commander whose forces are based southwest of Erbil.
Much of the weaponry the Peshmerga are currently using consists of old, worn-out munitions from the Iran-Iraq war more than 30 years ago.
One other weapon the Peshmerga have is improvisation. With no anti-mine vehicle to pave their way into ISIS-held territory, Barzani had a tank captured from ISIS re-engineered to roll through mined areas where it squashes IEDS before they can harm troops. Barzani told FoxNews.com the vehicle is crucial for making retaken land safe to once again inhabit.[…]
Kerkuki, like other Kurds, reasons that in the fight against ISIS, the Peshmerga are the tip of the world’s spear. Given that, why shouldn’t they have modern and plentiful weapons instead of facing a de facto arms embargo?
“We ask all the Canadians, and the Americans and the whole coalition and NATO, please send good weapons to us to fight against this biggest terrorist group in the world,” said Barzani. “We are fighting for all the world, for all civilization.”