Kurds celebrate Kobane victory as ISIS expelled

2015-01-28 20:15
Kurdish fighters walk in the centre of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab. (Bulent Kilic, AFP)

Kurdish fighters walk in the centre of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab. (Bulent Kilic, AFP)

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Kobane - Kurdish forces have recaptured the Syrian border town of Kobane on the Turkish frontier from the Islamic State group on Monday in a symbolic blow for the jihadists.

Rubble strewn streets, gutted buildings: the bloody battle for the Syrian border town of Kobane has wrought massive destruction, according to a team of AFP journalists who arrived on the scene on Wednesday.

After four months of fighting, the streets - now patrolled by Kurdish militiamen with barely a civilian in sight - were a mass of rubble and gutted buildings, the journalists said.

Kurdish fighters armed with Kalashnikov rifles greeted the journalists with a hail of celebratory gunshots into the air and made the "V" for victory sign.

On Tuesday, Kurdish forces battled ISIS militants in villages around Kobane, but the largely deserted town was calm on Wednesday.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had announced the "liberation" of Kobane on Monday, depriving ISIS of a prize to add to its territory in Syria and Iraq.

The United States said on Tuesday that Kurdish fighters were in control of about 90% of the town.

Observers say ISIS lost nearly 1 200 fighters in the battle, of a total of 1 800 killed, despite outgunning YPG forces with sophisticated weaponry captured from Iraqi and Syrian military bases.

Read more on:    isis  |  turkey  |  syria

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