The Associated Press quotes Rafik Hariri Center Resident Fellow Faysal Itani on what a defeat in the symbolic city of Kobani would mean for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham: 

“An IS defeat in Kobani would quite visibly undermine the perception of unstoppable momentum and inevitable victory that IS managed to project, particularly after it captured Mosul,” said Faysal Itani, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, referring to the militants’ seizure of Iraq’s second-largest city during its blitz into Iraq from Syria last summer.

It would also rob the group of a “psychological edge that both facilitated recruitment and intimidated actual and potential rivals, as well as the populations IS controlled,” Itani said.

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