Kobani Report: January 27, 2015 - The Liberation


by Andrew Arnett

All photos by Andrew Arnett

Kurdish forces on January 26 reclaimed the embattled town of Kobani after a four month siege by Islamic State militants.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) stated on Monday that Kobani had been “completely liberated” from lslamic State, adding “the defeat of Daesh (ISIS) in Kobani will be the beginning of the end for the group.”

“The people of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) were able to expel the terrorist organization Daesh from their town and control it almost completely,” stated SANA, the Syrian state news agency.

The Pentagon however, has declined to declare the battle for Kobani as over.

On January 26, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren stated “I am not prepared to say the battle there is won. The battle continues. But as of now, friendly forces … I believe, have the momentum.” .

Kobani, December 15 © 2014 Andrew Arnett

Since Sunday, U.S. and coalition forces have launched 17 airstrikes near Kobani.

On January 27, Kurdish forces battled ISIS in clashes southeast and southwest of Kobani, according to British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the capture by Kurds of nearby town Qarah Hlanj and intensifying of fighting around Shiran.

ISIS launched the Siege of Kobani on September 16, 2014.

On October 6, ISIS militants penetrated into Kobani and raised the black flag of ISIS on nearby Mistanour Hill

On September 27, U.S. and coalition forces bombed Islamic State positions in the area around Kobani for the first time.

Now, the Kurdish flag of the YPG flies over Kobani. Celebrations by Kurds in nearby Turkish city of Suruc prompted Turkish security forces to fire tear gas on revelers who threatened to cross over the border into Kobani.