Kerry: Saving Kobane Not Part of Strategy

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US secretary of state said Washington is deeply concerned about the "tragedy" in the Syrian town of Kobane, where self-declared jihadist fighters have been tightening their grip.

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However, Kobane does not define the strategy for the coalition with regard to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), John Kerry said in comments on Sunday.

Speaking at a conference in Cairo on the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip, Kerry said it would take time to bring a coalition fully together to confront ISIL, adding that the focus must first be on Iraq while degrading ISIL in Syria.

"Kobane does not define the strategy for the coalition in respect to Daesh (ISIL in Arabic). Kobane is one community and it is a tragedy what is happening there. And we do not diminish that," Kerry was reported by Al Jazeera as saying.

"But we have said from day one that it is going to take a period of time to bring the coalition thoroughly to the table to rebuild some of the morale and capacity of the Iraqi army. And to begin the focus of where we ought to be focusing first which is in Iraq. That is the current strategy."

Kurdish forces defending Kobane at the border with Turkey urged a US-led coalition to escalate air strikes on ISIL fighters


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