A senior US official said Isis had suffered particularly high casualties as a result of its determination to capture Kobani, sending many fighters to the border town, where they could easily be targeted by US planes. As a result, the official claimed, Isis fighters in the Isis Syrian stronghold of Raqqa were increasingly reluctant to go to Kobani and were growing disillusioned with the leadership.
“It was presenting itself as an unstoppable movement,” he said. “That kind of unstoppable momentum has been blunted, to say the least. We have killed over 1,000 of their fighters, particularly in Kobani, and that gets to Raqqa because they wanted to take Kobani and had been making the biggest flag they had ever made and they were going to put it up there because to them this is a war of flags.
“They were committed to this and we could see fighters flooding in from Raqqa and we saw that as an opportunity to attrit their manpower,” he said. “Fighters now don’t want to go to Kobani. There are similar accounts in Mosul, people not getting paid what they thought they’d get paid, not living the life they thought they’d promised … So the mood has changed.”