"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many, to so few." - Winston S. Churchill.
The modern world (and the popular media) had not heard much of the Kurds until 1988, when the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein unleashed chemical weapons on them, killing at least 5,000 in minutes. The eventual Kurd death toll during Saddam's reign of terror would be as high as 182,000. Other than that, not much attention was given to the Kurds, who have a long and interesting history as a dispossessed people, known as the largest dispossessed minority nation on earth today. The Jews were granted a homeland in 1948, but the Kurds, whose history is as long as, if not longer than the Jews, are still not recognised as a sovereign nation.
Kurdistan borders Iraq, Turkey and Syria, but there are no official border lines which define the nation of Kurdistan as separate from these three nations, hence there are Iraqi, Turkish and Syrian Kurds, and all have come under rule or oppression of the "host nation".
The Syrian Kurds make up the majority of the population of Kobani, which borders Kurdistan and Syria in still disputed territory. It's necessary to understand this basic background, in order to understand the battle for Kobani.
When ISIS (Islamic State) began its immoral and murderous slaughter across the Middle East, the Syrian Kurdish border town of Kobani was just another target in its campaign to establish a seventh-century style caliphate across the Middle East. ISIS rampaged and murdered its way through all who would stop its proclaimed Islamic theocracy, and Kobani was supposed to be another walk over in its quest for dominance of the entire Middle East.
When ISIS entered Kobani, the "take over" was only expected to last a few days at most. Some two months later, we've all become familiar to what is now known as the "Battle for Kobani". Kobani, although not militarily strategically important, has become a symbol of dominance - which will benefit either ISIS or its opponents. Who wins in Kobani, will be crucially important, and may well determine the future of the genocidal ISIS and its rise, or eventual demise. If ISIS fails to take Kobani, it will suffer a major setback. The Obama administration, realising the importance of the battle for Kobani, is pounding ISIS positions in Kobani with support air strikes in the hope of an eventual Kurdish victory.
For those who don't fully understand, Kobani is a sort of "Battle of Britain", or a turning point which will determine the future of ISIS as much as the Battle of Britain defined the future of Nazism in 1939 and the early 1940s. The Kurds naturally have "nationalistic motives" in this battle, and the wish to be finally recognised as a sovereign nation, but behind this, some may claim, "selfish motive", is the startling reality that Syrian Kurdish resistance to ISIS, if successful, may well be the beginning of the end for the most atrocious, murderous and genocidal regime so far seen in the 21st century.