MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - The US-led airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) have failed to stop the extremist group which is close to capturing the Syrian city of Kobani and is advancing on Iraq's capital Baghdad, The Independent reported Sunday.
The Islamic State is expanding its control in both Syria and Iraq, seemingly unaffected by airstrikes carried out by the US-led international coalition. The extremists are willing to take heavy casualties in order to seize Kobani and are likely to win the fight against Kurdish militia who are defending the town, according to the newspaper.
On Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that IS was in control of 40 percent of Kobani. According to the organization, more than 550 people have been killed since the siege of the city started in mid-September.
"The tragic reality is that in the course of [degrading the capacity of IS there are going to be places like [Kobani] where we may or may not be able to be effective," US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken was quoted as saying by the newspaper earlier this week.
The US-led airstrikes have failed to stop IS from advancing in Iraq as well. The militants have captured most of Anbar province, Iraq's largest governorate which makes up about a quarter of the country. The group is also advancing on Baghdad, having defeated the Iraqi army west of the capital, The Independent reported.
The Islamic State (IS), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group expanded its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories that had fallen under its control.
In August, the United States authorized limited airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria in September, after US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition.
For the past several weeks, IS fighters have besieged Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, one of the largest towns in the Kurdish region of Syria bordering Turkey. An estimated 180,000 residents of the city have fled to Turkey to escape the extremist group.