Kurds kick out IS from Kobani

Kurds kick out IS from Kobani
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Kurds kick out IS from Kobani
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Updated 27 January 2015

Kurds kick out IS from Kobani

Kurds kick out IS from Kobani

BEIRUT: Kurdish fighters have expelled Islamic State (IS) group militants from inside the Syrian border town of Kobani, a monitor said Monday, dealing a key symbolic blow to the terrorists’ ambitions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had pushed IS militants out of the town after four months of fighting.
In Iraq meanwhile, a senior army officer announced that Iraqi forces had also “liberated” Diyala province from the IS group.
Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that YPG forces had “expelled all IS fighters from Kobani and have full control of the town.”
“The Kurds are pursuing some militants on the eastern outskirts of Kobani, but there is no more fighting inside now.” The monitor said Kurdish forces were carrying out “mopping-up operations” against remaining IS forces in the Maqtala district, on the eastern outskirts of the town.
There was no immediate official announcement from the YPG, but Mustafa Ebdi, an activist from the town, told AFP that “fighting has stopped” in Kobani.
YPG forces were “advancing carefully in Maqtala because of the threat of mines and car bombs,” he added.
The advance by Kurdish fighters came after 24 hours of heavy bombing by the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq.
In a statement, the Pentagon said the coalition had carried out 17 air strikes against IS positions in Kobani in the 24 hours from Jan. 25 alone.
The targets included “tactical units” and “fighting positions” as well as an IS vehicle and staging areas, the statement said.
The loss of Kobani, also known as Ain Al-Arab, would be a key symbolic blow against IS, which has lost more than 1,000 fighters since it began its advance on the town on Sept. 16.
At one time it looked set to overrun Kobani, which lies on the Syrian-Turkish border. The group vastly outgunned the YPG thanks to weapons captured from military bases in Syria and Iraq, and sent hundreds of fighters to the battle.
But Kurdish forces gradually pushed back the militants with the help of extensive air raids by the US-led coalition fighting IS as well as fighters from Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga forces.



Analysts say the loss of Kobani is both a symbolic and strategic blow for IS, which set its sights on the small town in a bid to cement its control over a long stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border.
Since the group emerged in its current form in 2013, it has captured large swathes of territory in both Syria and Iraq.