Double blow for IS, loses Kobane and Diyala

Double blow for IS, loses Kobane and Diyala

Monday, January 26, 2015 10:44 pm

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

A Turkish tank near the Syrian border town of Kobane or Ain Al Arab

Kurdish militia drove the Islamic State group from the Syrian town of Kobane and raised their flags on Monday, dealing the jihadists a heavy blow after months of heavy fighting.

Across the border in Iraq, meanwhile, a top army officer announced troops had “liberated” Diyala province from IS jihadists.

In Syria, the Kurdish advance in Kobane, on the frontier with Turkey, marked the culmination of a battle lasting more than four months in which nearly 1,800 people were killed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had “expelled all Islamic State fighters from Kobane and have full control of the town”.

“The Kurds are pursuing some jihadists on the eastern outskirts of Kobane, but there is no more fighting inside now,” said the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman.

Kurdish forces were carrying out “mopping-up operations” against remaining IS forces in the Maqtala district, on the town’s eastern outskirts.

YPG spokesman Polat Jan also announced the news on Twitter, writing: “Congratulations to humanity, Kurdistan, and the people of Kobane on the liberation of Kobane.”

Mustafa Ebdi, an activist from the town, said the “fighting has stopped”.

YPG forces were “advancing carefully in Maqtala because of the threat of mines and car bombs,” he added.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of IS: loses territories

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, head of IS: loses territories

– Heavy coalition bombing

The Kurdish advance came after the Pentagon said the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq had carried out 17 air strikes against jihadist positions in Kobane within 24 hours.

The targets included “tactical units” and “fighting positions” as well as an IS vehicle and staging areas.

The loss of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, would be an important defeat for IS.

The group has lost 1,196 fighters since it began its advance on the town on September 16, said the Britain-based Observatory.

At one point, the jihadist group had looked poised to overrun Kobane.

IS wielded sophisticated weapons captured from military bases in Syria and Iraq and committed hundreds of fighters to the battle.

But Kurdish forces gradually pushed back the jihadists with the help of the US-led air raids and a group of fighters from Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Analysts say the loss of Kobane 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.

It has declared an Islamic “caliphate” in territory under its control, and gained a reputation for brutality, including executions and torture.

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One Comment

  • It is Good to see justice meted out to ISIS. they should wake up and stop this short sightedness in the name of Religion. They should behave like good human beings for once. Let them help to make the world a better place than killing and maiming fellow humans.
    They owe this generation a lot to help make the world a better place.
    It is high time they should stop and get Democratic, for today is an age of Pragmatism

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