The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported today that at least 100 Islamic State fighters have been killed during just three days of fighting in and around the Kurdish city of Kobane.
The monitoring group said that the deaths bring the current number of ISIS fighters killed in the conflict there to 576 since September 16.
“Over the last three days, at least 100 members of ISIS and its religious police have been killed… in Kobani and its surroundings,” the Observatory said in a statement Saturday.
The men killed were reportedly reinforcements brought from Aleppo and ISIS’s de-facto capital Raqqa, as the group’s offensive has slowed down due to the fierce fighting on behalf of the Kurdish resistance, aided by U.S.-led airstrikes.
On Friday, the Observatory reported that 15 fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were killed in clashes with ISIS.
In total, 958 people have been killed on the fight for Kobane, with 576 belonging to ISIS and 361 to YPG and its Free Syrian Army allies. Twenty-one civilians were also among the dead.
On Thursday, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel admitted to reporters that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad “derives some benefit” from strikes against ISIS, which are allowing regime forces to focus their firepower on other rebel groups.
As Hagel has emerged as a leading critic of President Obama’s Syria strategy, “expressing concern about the overall Syria strategy,” a recent report for the Center for Strategic and International Studies regional security expert Anthony H. Cordesman described the results of the operation against ISIS as “a strategic mess.”
“The Assad forces are using the U.S. and allied campaign against the Islamic State to make a massive step up in air attacks on other rebels,” he wrote.
While the Obama strategy may be highly criticized and not to everyone’s taste, the Kurdish rebel forces in Kobane, and other cities and towns have dealt a heavy blow to ISIS in recent days, and as long as that success continues, the Islamic State won’t be overtaking any more territory in the area for the time being.