Kurdish fighters have expelled Daesh (ISIS) from inside the Syrian border town of Kobane.
This is a huge physical and symbolic blow to Daesh’s ambitions.
Some Daesh forces reportedly remain in the Maqtala district, on the eastern outskirts of the town.
Daesh is said to have lost more than 1,000 fighters since it began its advance on the town on 16 September 2014 in an attempt to control the border between Syria and Turkey. At one point the group had taken over most of the city.
Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), later reinforced by the Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, slowly pushed back Daesh. Air raids by the US-led coalition fighting backed up the militias but US military officials had predicted the city would fall. Against the odds the Kurdish forces have held the city.
The victory coincides with reports of Daesh retreats from battles in northern and central Iraq.
Wherever Daesh has captured territory it has declared an Islamic “caliphate” and acted with brutality — executing and torturing and raping. But its apparent failure in Kobane could put the brakes on its plans for expansion in Syria.
That would be good news for people in the Middle East.