The Bible Teaching Ministry of David Hocking
“The Word of our God shall stand forever” Isaiah 40:8

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ARCHAEOLOGY REPORT ON RED SEA – APPARENTLY NOT TRUE!

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

ARCHAEOLOGY REPORT ON RED SEA – APPARENTLY NOT TRUE!

A week ago we reported on an article that supposedly was written by Egyptian Archaeologists about the discovery of bones with pictures of divers holding artifacts from the so-called “CROSSING OF THE RED SEA.” Apparently the article is not true! Since the year 2000 there have been some expeditions in the Gulf of Aqaba, and a few items found that might point to what happened in 1446 BC when the children of Israel crossed the Gulf waters and landed on the east side in the land of Median.

The purpose behind the article was to deceive the evangelicals of this world, and this one seemed to be authentic. We regret the article, and will continue to search carefully about information in the Middle East, especially when it relates to what archaeological artifacts have been discovered.

God bless you all!

THANK YOU, VETERANS – MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU THIS DAY!

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

THANK YOU, VETERANS – MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU THIS DAY!
by David Hocking

The veterans of the following wars need our deepest appreciation:
WORLD WAR I
WORLD WAR II
KOREAN WAR
VIETNAM WAR
DESERT STORM
SOLDIERS OF IRAQ AND AFGANISTAN
SOLDIERS WHO GUARD AND DEFEND – IN MILITARY BASE ALL OVER THE WORLD

Yes, we say “thank you.” We are also deeply disappointed in the Veterans Administration and its Medical facilities for what seems to be “serious delays” in the treatment of veteran health issues and disabilities. The least we can do is take this matter seriously and urge our government and congressional leaders to take action.

One of the fascinating parts of the military conflicts of our country involves the deep religious commitment of so many in our armed forces! In addition to that, we have brought freedom to others around the world, and the price was heavy (in terms of dollars) most importantly in the lives of our military.

It is our prayer that this current Administration we give more serious attention to the growth and barbaric actions of ISIS, and to put a stop to their killings of civilians and the beheading of children.

We also urge this VETERANS DAY for more continual and serious prayer for our military personnel and our military leaders. We need the help of God Almighty, and the wisdom of Biblical teaching concerning the conflicts in which we engage our most important resource – the men and women of our armed forces!

May God bless AMERICA as we return to Biblical teaching and prayers – not only in our schools, but in the halls of Congress – God bless our MILITARY!

150 MILLION CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED BY ISLAM

Friday, November 7th, 2014

150 MILLION CHRISTIANS PERSECUTED BY ISLAM
by Giulio Meotti (Arutz Sheva News)

Christian suffering at the hands of the Moslems is of biblical proportions, according to the Open Doors NGO.
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“The number of persecuted Christians in the world is 150 million.” There are many other figures, terrifying and dramatic, in the pages of the “Black book of the plight of Christians in the world”, a unique initiative of French scholars and coordinated by journalist Samuel Lieven. Snapshots of a global and amorphous war.

In particular, there is a disconcerting statistic: “80 percent of the acts of religious persecution in the world are directed against Christians.” How many victims? The Center for the Study of Global Christianity brings the average of one hundred thousand Christians killed each year for their faith throughout the last decade. An average of five Christians every minute.

Yesterday, in Pakistan, two Christians, including a pregnant woman, were burnt alive in the brick kiln where they worked. It was a pogrom with the participation of four hundred Muslims.

Haim Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France, cries out his reaction in the face of the spread of hatred against Christians, and establishes a comparison with the destruction of Eastern Sephardic Jewry:
“Where are the Jewish communities once so rich of Aleppo, Beirut, Alexandria, Cairo or Tripoli? Where are the schools of Nehardea and Pumbedita in Iraq? And where is the flourishing of Judaism in Esfahan and Tehran? In our memory. Driven out, killed, decimated, persecuted and exiled, the Christians of the East are personally experiencing the same plight as the Jews with whom they have lived for so long and have seen leaving those places”.

The NGO Open Doors declared that the persecution in Iraq has reached “biblical proportions”. Tuesday, in Rome, the annual report of Aid to the Church in Need was also presented. It told that of the 20 countries in the world where religious freedom is virtually absent, 14 are Muslim, and the others military or communist dictatorships, such as North Korea.

We are facing what Habib Malik of Stanford University calls “the final phase of the regional decline of Christians.”

“I’ve got a family of Christians who do not want to convert, what do we do?”.
Today Mosul appears to have been swallowed up, like Jonah in the belly of the whale.

“Between 2003 and 2009, nearly 800 Christians were executed [there] in cold blood, not counting the fifty martyrs of the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, including two priests, killed on October 31, 2010. To date, we have exceeded one thousand Christians killed, including a bishop and five priests. More than sixty churches were destroyed. ”

In the book, a jihadist from the Islamic State speaks on the phone with his terrorist leader: “I’ve got a family of Christians who do not want to convert, what do we do?”. A phrase that reminded me of the Seventh Day Adventist Tutsi pastors who, during the genocide in Rwanda, appealed to their pastor with a letter: “We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families.”

There are the Christians of Ma’aloula in Syria, such as Taalab Antoun and his two cousins??, who received the ”aman”, the Islamic guarantee to be spared. Unarmed and trusting the word of the rebels, they were killed and then beheaded.

Five hundred thousand Christians have already left Syria.

And before them, there was the story of Jean-Pierre Schumacher, the last monk of Tibhirine, Algeria, where Islamists slaughtered the wonderful Trappist monks who shared meals with Muslims. He was saved because the jihadists counted wrong. Later, at the funeral of the monks, Brother Jean-Pierre asked to open the coffin to pay his last respects to his companions. He found that the crates contained no bodies, but only seven heads.
That massacre was the green light for future massacres.

ISLAMIC HYPOCRISY

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

ISLAMIC HYPOCRISY
By Yisrael Medad

I am a resident of Shiloh, with my wife and children, and now grandchildren,…
I have pointed to a basic attitude of hypocrisy by Muslims in their campaign to deny Jews free access and the right of freedom of worship at the Temple Mount.

Those that seek to ban Jews from expressing the rights to free access and worship on the Temple Mount themselves demand the right to pray at a church which was originally a church but when Muslims conquered the country they turned that church into a mosque. When the native population reconquered their country back from the Muslim occupiers, they reconsecrated the church.

In my opinion, this parallels the situation in Jerusalem.

The Muslims know quite well that their structures are on the site of the former Jewish temples. But in Cordoba in Spain, this happened

All the churches in that city [Cordoba] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent…when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque…This was clearly an act of spoliation…Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral.
and what has been happening recently? This:

In 2006, the former president of Cordoba’s Muslim community, Mandur Escudero, sent a letter to the Pope asking that Muslims be permitted to pray there. To demonstrate to the world that it was impossible for him to do so, he then prayed outside the Mezquita in the middle of the street.
Details:
Muslims in Spain are campaigning to be allowed to worship alongside Christians in Cordoba Cathedral — formerly the Great Mosque of Cordoba…Cordoba’s dazzling “mihrab” — the sacred alcove from where Muslim prayer is lead — still stands as a separate part of the site and is one of the main attractions for tourists.

Mansur Escudero, a Spanish convert to Islam, is leading the movement that is pushing for the right of Muslims to pray at the Cordoba Cathedral. “I don’t think it’s important for Muslims. I think it’s important for humankind,” Escudero says. “We think this is a beautiful paradigm of tolerance, knowledge, culture. People of different religions living together.”…

In April [2010], more than one hundred Muslim visitors staged a protest by unrolling their prayer rugs inside the site and beginning to pray. When security tried to remove them, the protest got violent and two were arrested.

According to Cordoba’s Bishop, Demetrio Fernandes, this incident shows it is impossible to share a house of worship. It would be like sharing a wife between two husbands, he told CNN.

“Would they be happy to do the same in any of their mosques?” he asked. “Absolutely not. Because I understand their religious feeling and they have to understand ours as well. The religious feeling is the deepest one in the human heart, so it is not possible to share.”

So, why cannot that work for Jews, in Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount?

I now have seen something else, that someone said:
it was important to counter the theory of clash of civilizations, which he said was fueled by the extreme wings on all sides. He called on participants to find ways to ensure that “the spirit of tolerance”…reaches all levels of society.

“Our dialogue, our spirit of tolerance has not trickled down yet to the street, to the communities, to the clubs, to the little guy on the street anywhere in the Muslim or Christian world,” he said.

“We will have to find ways and means in order for this spirit…to be felt among the masses: that we have to live together, that Islam and Christianity and all other religions, including Judaism, all of them worship God and there are no reasons for confrontation, but reasons for mutual respect and tolerance.”

Who was the speaker?

Amr Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League.

Well, well.

So, here again is Escudero who insists this is not about winning a victory for one religion or the other. He said: “They pretend that we are trying to conquer the mosque again. That’s not the intention at all. We want it to be a place where anyone — whether Muslim, Christian or Jew — can do his meditation or his internal way of worshipping, or praying or whatever he wants to call it.” If the above is true and a genuine ex?pression of Islam, why not apply it to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount?

WHAT DO US ELECTION RESULTS MEAN FOR US/ISRAEL RELATIONS?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

WHAT DO US ELECTION RESULTS MEAN FOR US/ISRAEL RELATIONS?
by Cynthia Blank (Arutz Sheva News()

Arutz Sheva spoke with Prof. Eytan Gilboa about the major US-Israel policy issues affected by US midterm elections’ results.

The Republican party has won command of the Senate for the first time since 2007, sweeping control of the Congress.

With this control comes new possibilities and alliances in the relationship between the United States (US) and Israel.

Prof. Eytan Gilboa, an expert on American-Israeli relations, spoke with Arutz Sheva about what he deemed the “three major issues Israel is concerned about,” that could be significantly impacted by this change in US legislative control.

The first – the war with Islamic State (ISIS). Although the United States has been launching airstrikes against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, many Republicans feel the Obama administration’s foreign policy is not doing enough against what many constituents view as a “serious threat.”

With the Republican victory an increase in military spending and a comprehensive debate over policy toward the Islamic State seems likely.

The second and “most important” issue for Israel is the Iranian nuclear deal, to which Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is strongly opposed.

“The United States is close to a deal with Iran and the President says he is not deterred to get the approval of Congress” to rescind sanctions against Iran in a final agreement deal.

However, because “both Democrats and Republicans have been opposing [this agreement],” Gilboa stressed that Obama could very well try to “circumvent Congress, because he is unsure he can win there.”

And finally, the third issue is the possible resumption of peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Obama has up until this point held significant leverage against Israel, but “if he were to begin pressuring Israel [into negotiations] again, Israel may very well turn to and ask for help from members of Congress.”

Echoing a prediction made prior to the vote by former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger, Gilboa noted that “If the Palestinian Authority goes to the United Nations and asks for recognition without negotiations,” the 300 million aid dollars sent yearly to the Palestinian Authority could also come under fire by Republican Representatives and Senators.

Gilboa concluded that Obama “must be more careful in pressuring Israel,” particularly in his new position as a “lame duck,” but stressed that Israeli foreign policy must avoid jeopardizing bipartisan support.

“Israel must be careful not to use the Republicans in Congress against the Democratic President too much, for fear of alienating Democrats.”

WHY ISRAEL?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

WHY ISRAEL?
by Sholmo Riskin (Arutz Sheva News)

The writer is the founding and Chief Rabbi of Efrata, Gush Etzion, as well…
“Go away, for your own good, from your land, from your birthplace and from your father’s house to the land that I shall show you. “I will make you into a great nation… You shall become a blessing… All the families of the earth shall be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3)

Our portion opens with the first Divine Commandment to the first Jew – the command to make aliya.

Why did God choose Abraham and why was it so important for him to move to the Land of Israel? Maimonides, basing himself on earlier midrashim, maintains that Abraham discovered the concept of ethical monotheism – a single Creator of the universe who demands justice, compassion and peace.

Abraham shattered the idols in Ur Kasdim, was chased to Haran where he continued to preach his newfound religion, was addressed by God and sent to the Land of Israel (Mishneh Torah, “Laws of Idolatry” 1,3).
It is the propagation of this new credo that is the source of the Abrahamic blessing for the world and is the essence of his election.

Not only does God stipulate that “through [Abraham] all the families of the earth shall be blessed,” but Maimonides also pictures the first Jew as an intellectually gifted forerunner of “Yonatan [Johnny] Appleseed,” planting seeds of ethical monotheism and plucking the human fruits of his labor wherever he went. This “missionary activity” on behalf of God which was established by Abraham is a model for all of his descendants, and even according to many authorities an actual commandment! The midrash interpreting the commandment “to love the Lord your God” teaches: “[We are commanded] to make Him [God] beloved to all creatures, as did Abraham your father, as our text states, ‘the souls which they [Abram and Sarai] made in Haran’ (Gen. 12:5). After all, if all the people of the world were to gather in order to create one mosquito and endow it with a soul, they would be incapable of accomplishing it, so what is the text saying in the words, ‘the souls which they make in Haran’? This teaches that Abraham and Sarah converted them and brought them under the wings of the Divine Presence.”

The midrash confirms that the propagation of ethical monotheism was Abraham’s major vocation and this is why he was commanded to move to Israel.

“Rabbi Berachia said… Abraham can be compared to a vial of sweet-smelling spices sealed tightly and locked away in a corner – so that the pleasant aroma could not spread. Once the vial began to be transported, its aroma radiated all around. So did the Holy One Blessed be He say to Abraham, ‘Move from your place, and your name [and message] will become great universally.’” This midrash flies in the face of the biblical text after all, it was in Ur Kasdim, and then in Haran – places in the Diaspora – that Abraham and Sarah won converts to their religion. And this is confirmed by a daring Talmudic statement, “Rabbi Elazar said the Holy One Blessed be He sent Israel into exile amongst the nations of the world only in order to win converts….”

So if propagating the faith is so essential to the Jewish election and mission, why did God command and send Abraham (and his descendants) to live in one place, Israel? It would seem that a large Diaspora would be far more efficacious in bringing multitudes of souls into our faith! The answer lies in the fact that we are a nation as well as a religion, a people imbued with a mission not only to serve God but also – and even principally – to perfect society. From our very inception, the Bible understood that nations are interdependent, and that an ethical and moral code of conduct is central to the survival of a free world, and it is only another nation that can be in the position to influence other nations. Our goal must be to influence others to strive to emulate us. We must be a nation, but not a nation like all nations, but rather “a light unto the nations.”

No one can influence another unless they know their self-definition.

A minority group dominated by a host-culture majority will expend so much energy merely attempting to survive that there will be little ability or will left over to develop a unique culture as a model for others. And unless one controls the society, there is no living laboratory to test one’s ethical and moral ideas, to see if they can be expressed in real-life situations.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of Great Britain, expressed it very well. There were three brilliant and disenfranchised Jews who developed unique world outlooks. Karl Marx argued that human beings are controlled by economic forces, Spinoza maintained that humanity is controlled by nature and natural instincts, Freud believed we are formed by our parents’ home, fraught with traumas of Oedipus and Electra complexes.

God commands Abraham: “Free yourself of Marxian, Spinozistic and Freudian determinism. All of these will have an influence, but human freedom as children of the God of love will empower us to transcend these limitations and create a more perfect society.”

Hence God tells Abraham that he must leave to forge a unique nation dedicated to the ultimate values of human life and freedom, societal justice and compassion, so that through his special nation the world will be blessed and humanity will be redeemed.

NETANYAHU HOLDS SECRET MEETING WITH ABDULLAH OVER TEMPLE MOUNT

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

NETANYAHU HOLDS SECRET MEETING WITH ABDULLAH OVER TEMPLE MOUNT
by Gil Ronen (Arutz Sheva News)

Kuwaiti paper says PM met Jordanian king and told him he may block Jews from entering Temple Mount.

Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida reported Monday morning that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday, in the Jordanian capital of Amman.

The meeting was intended to try and calm inflamed tensions in Jerusalem, following the temporary decision to stop all visits to the Temple Mount last week. That decision was made following the assassination attempt against Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick on Wednesday, who championed the struggle for Jewish prayer rights at the holiest site in Judaism.

According to the report, as cited by Channel 2’s website, Netanyahu told Abdullah at the meeting that he is considering blocking Jews from entering the Temple Mount.

In addition, Netanyahu reportedly said that Israel will take “new steps” regarding the entry of visitors to the Temple Mount, but the newspaper did not say what they would be.

After the meeting, Abdullah reportedly spoke with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and filled him in on its results.

Abbas commended Netanyahu on Sunday after the Israeli leader called for calm in Jerusalem. “Today, a statement was issued by the government of Israel and the Prime Minister of Israel, according to which there is a need for calm, and we support calm,” said Abbas.

“In principle, we support calm,” he added. “We do not want to escalate the situation until it cannot be handled.” Just last month, Abbas called for terrorism on the Temple Mount, demanding Muslims block Jews by “all means necessary.”

Abbas’s bureau further called Netanyahu’s statement “a step in the right direction” and claimed that Netanyahu had recognized the Muslims’ “right to Al Aqsa.”

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER REMAINS OF EGYPTIAN ARMY FROM THE BIBLICAL EXODUS

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER REMAINS OF EGYPTIAN ARMY FROM THE BIBLICAL EXODUS

Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered that remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez, 1.5 kilometers offshore from the modern city of Ras Gharib. The team was searching for the remains of ancient ships and artefacts related to Stone Age and Bronze Age trade in the Red Sea area, when they stumbled upon a gigantic mass of human bones darkened by age.

The scientists lead by Professor Abdel Muhammad Gader and associated with Cairo University’s Faculty of Archaeology, have already recovered a total of more than 400 different skeletons, as well as hundreds of weapons and pieces of armor, also the remains of two war chariots, scattered over an area of approximately 200 square meters. They estimate that more than 5000 other bodies could be dispersed over a wider area, suggesting that an army of large size who have perished on the site.

This magnificient blade from an egyptian khopesh, was certainly the weapon of an important character. It was discovered near the remains of a highly decorated war chariot, suggesting it could have belonged to a prince or nobleman.

This magnificient blade from an egyptian khopesh, was certainly the weapon of an important character. It was discovered near the remains of a richly decorated war chariot, suggesting it could have belonged to a prince or nobleman.

Many clues on the site have brought Professor Gader and his team to conclude that the bodies could be linked to the famous episode of the Exodus. First of all, the ancient soldiers seem to have died on dry ground, since no traces of boats or ships have been found in the area. The positions of the bodies and the fact that they were stuck in a vast quantity of clay and rock, imply that they could have died in a mudslide or a tidal wave.

The shear number of bodies suggests that a large ancient army perished on the site and the dramatic way by which they were killed, both seem to corroborate the biblical version of the Red Sea Crossing, when the army of the Egyptian Pharaoh was destroyed by the returning waters that Moses had parted. This new find certainly proves that there was indeed an Egyptian army of large size that was destroyed by the waters of the Red Sea during the reign of King Akhenaten.

For centuries, the famous biblical account of the “Red Sea Crossing” was dismissed by most scholars and historians as more symbolic than historical.

This astounding discovery brings undeniable scientific proof that one the most famous episodes of the Old Testament was indeed, based on an historical event. It brings a brand new perspective on a story that many historians have been considering for years as a work of fiction, and suggesting that other themes like the “Plagues of Egypt” could indeed have an historical base.

A lot more research and many more recovery operations are to be expected on the site over the next few years, as Professor Gader and his team have already announced their desire to retrieve the rest of the bodies and artifacts from what has turned out to be one of the richest archaeological underwater sites ever discovered.

GAZA WAR NUMBER 4 IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME!

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

GAZA WAR NUMBER 4 IS JUST A MATTER OF TIME!
by Ari Yashar (Arutz Sheva News)

Eshkol Regional head says rocket Friday is sign of coming rockets on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as effects of operation slip away.

A rocket from Gaza was shot down as it streaked towards the Eshkol Regional Council area on Friday night and apparently landed in the region, in the second such attack since the August 26 ceasefire ended Operation Protective Edge.

According to Chaim Yelin, chair of the Eshkol Regional Council, it’s only a matter of time until the next operation against Hamas, of which Protective Edge was already the third since Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

“It doesn’t make a difference to us who fires,” Yelin told Arutz Sheva.
“Hamas or rebellious groups; we demand a military response against rocket fire on the residents of the state of Israel.”

Yelin said he is convinced that rockets will soon be pummeling the center of the country as they did during the operation, saying “the hourglass has already turned ahead of the next war.”

“Today it’s in Eshkol, tomorrow in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the military and diplomatic response needs to be appropriate,” said Yelin. “The military achievement of Protective Edge is dissipating, with no national outline to give true quiet to the residents of the south and residents of the state of Israel.”

The IDF has yet to locate the remains of the rocket fired on Friday, although it is thought to have landed in Israeli territory. “Color Red” rocket warning sirens were not sounded in Eshkol ahead of the rocket.

The issue of sirens has been a question point since the latest operation, with sirens being heard occasionally in September and October – including five in one day – with the IDF claiming all of them were false alarms.

Last month Maj. (res.) Ran Levy, a social activist who heads the ‘Hadromiyim’ (‘The Southerners’) organization fighting for the rights of residents of Israel’s embattled south, accused the IDF of covering up Hamas rockets for political purposes given the current ceasefire.

“I am an officer in the Home Front Command and I say, as a resident of Ashkelon, that there is no such thing as a false alarm and there never was,” claimed Levy. “Once the system identifies a launch, it calculates within a short time the area in which the rocket is expected to fall, so there is no such thing as a false alarm.”

Hamas has also restarted building its terror tunnels into Israel, after bragging that the IDF didn’t destroy all of them. Nevertheless, Israel began transporting more construction materials into Gaza early last month as a “humanitarian gesture,” including 600 tons of cement, 50 truckloads of aggregate and 10 truckloads of steel.

Israel to Close Gaza Crossings Following Rocket Attack
Haniyeh: We’ll Fight Israel Over Temple Mount
Egypt Gives Gazans 48 Hours to Evacuate
Details Emerge on Egypt’s Gaza ‘Expulsion Plan’
Gaza Truce Talks Postponed Until Late November
Egypt to Create Buffer Zone with Gaza
Hamas: Israel Will Pay if Gaza is Not Rehabilitated
Gaza Infiltrator Arrested 500 Meters Inside Israel

100 ISIS FIGHTERS KILLED IN THREE DAYS AS KOBANI BATTLE RAGES

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

100 ISIS FIGHTERS KILLED IN THREE DAYS AS KOBANI BATTLE RAGES
by Arutz Sheva Staff

Kurdish forces continue to fend off jihadi advance, as US airstrikes continue despite fears they are aiding the regime.

At least 100 Islamic State terrorists have been killed in the Kurdish city of Kobane during the past three days alone, according to a Syrian monitoring group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths brought the number of ISIS fighters killed in the fighting for the city, located along the border with Turkey in northern Syria, to 576 since the start of the jihadi offensive on 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.

Those killed were reportedly reinforcements brought from Aleppo and ISIS’s de-facto capital Raqqa, as the group’s offensive has floundered in the face of dogged Kurdish resistance, aided by US airstrikes.

Also on Friday, the Observatory said 15 fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) were killed in clashes with ISIS jihadis, while at least 11 ISIS fighters were killed in US-led coalition airstrikes on Kobani and Raqqa.

958 people in total have been killed in the battle for Kobani, according to the London-based Observatory: 576 of whom belonged to ISIS and 361 belonging to the YPG and its Free Syrian Army allies. 21 civilians were also among the dead.

It is hoped that the arrival of Iraqi Peshmerga forces – who crossed into Kobani from Turkey on Friday, armed with heavy weapons – will help defenders push back ISIS from around the city entirely.

Continued US airstrikes come despite growing discomfort and even infighting within the Obama administration over the White House’s overall strategy in Iraq and Syria.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel admitted to reporters Thursday 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.

Hagel has emerged as a leading critic of President Obama’s Syria strategy; CNN recently revealed he sent a detailed memo to National Security Advisor Susan Rice “expressing concern about overall Syria strategy.”

ISIS has been fighting both the regime and other rebel forces, and most opposition factions are in favor of strikes on the group as well, and there is wide support for airstrikes to help aid embattled Kurdish forces fend off a potential massacre by the Islamists. But there are concerns the ongoing airstrikes against ISIS are working in the regime’s favor

In a 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.


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