NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel appeared on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” to discuss the situation of the ISIS-besieged Syrian town of Kobani. During the interview, he called Secretary of State John Kerry “tone-deaf” for his comments that protecting Kobani was “not a strategic objective.”
Well, the situation in Kobani from the global perspective might not be the most important city in the world. There are other key cities in Syria. But it has become an important symbol, it is highly visible, and perhaps Secretary Kerry is being a little bit tone-deaf to the importance that Kobani has taken on here in this country, [and] on social media.
There are cities in Syria that are being attacked by ISIS, but nobody can see them. Everyone can see Kobani. People are watching the city fall, almost in real time. They are watching Turkish troops sitting 200 yards away doing nothing. Turkish tanks have their cannons pointed at Kobani, and they aren’t firing. American airplanes, until very recently, hadn’t been doing much.