Kurds drive Islamic State out of Syria’s Kobani
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Kurds drive Islamic State out of Syria’s Kobani

Militia regains control of border town two days after jihadists stormed positions, killing almost 200 civilians

A picture taken from the Turkish side of the border with Syria shows a Turkish soldier watching as smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, on June 27, 2015. (Bulent Kilic/AFP)
A picture taken from the Turkish side of the border with Syria shows a Turkish soldier watching as smoke rises from the Syrian town of Kobani, on June 27, 2015. (Bulent Kilic/AFP)

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Kurdish fighters ousted the Islamic State group from the Syrian border town of Kobani on Saturday, two days after the jihadists had seized several neighborhoods, a monitor and activists said.

IS’s bloody attack on the town had left at least 174 civilians dead as well as 70 combatants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) took back control of IS positions in Kobani,” the Britain-based group said.

“The YPG were able to take back the town’s boys’ high school, where the last of the IS fighters were holed up, after setting off explosions.”

The jihadist group entered Kobani at dawn on Thursday, seizing several buildings in the town’s south and southwest.

Hours later, YPG reinforcements encircled the IS positions — where the jihadists were holding civilians — and slowly began retaking control of the buildings.

Local journalist Rudi Mohammad Amin told AFP that “all of Kobani is again under the control of the YPG.”

“The YPG detonated explosives outside of the school, then stormed it,” Amin said, speaking via the Internet from a position near Kobani.

“This military operation was carried out after ensuring that there were no civilians left in the school,” he added.

Amin said he believed all the IS fighters in the school were killed.

According to the Observatory, which monitors the war in Syria through a network of contacts on the ground, YPG fighters and members of the Kurdish security forces were searching the town for any remaining jihadists.

At least 174 civilians were killed in the jihadists’ assault on Kobani, 148 of them in the town itself.

At least 16 Kurdish fighters were killed and 54 jihadists.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman, said the death toll was still mounting as Kurdish forces discovered more bodies.

 

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