CNN just aired a live firefight between Kurdish forces and militants from the extremist group calling itself the Islamic State along the Syria-Turkey border:
CNN’s Phil Black was on the Turkish side of the border, which was flush with a crowd of spectators cheering on the Kurdish forces:
Black said the opposing forces, which were aligned on separate ridgelines, had traded small bouts of fire. As dusk began to fall, the fighting was still ongoing, Black said.
The footage provided a rare look into the battle between the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and the forces it has been battling in both Syria and Iraq. It has made sweeping gains in both countries over the past few months, while local forces have worked to halt their advances through both countries.
In response to ISIS’ gains on the battlefield, the US and the West have stepped up a military campaign geared at “degrading and destroying” the group, in the words of President Barack Obama. This week, the US began conducting airstrikes against ISIS-held targets in Syria.
The US hopes a campaign of airstrikes plus partnering with Iraqi and Syrian forces on the ground will be enough to begin rolling back ISIS advances. But experts have questioned whether that strategy will work — for one, forces on the ground have not yet been able to capitalise on the airstrikes and are still fighting for survival.
You can see video of the firefight at CNN here or below:
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