Via al Jazeera
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has nearly been pushed out of the Syrian border town of Kobane, activists and Kurdish officials said Monday, marking a major symbolic victory both for the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition targeting the armed fighters.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and senior Kurdish official Idriss Nassan said ISIL had been nearly expelled, with some sporadic fighting on the eastern edges of the city near Turkey.
“[ISIL] is on the verge of defeat,” said Nassan, speaking from Turkey near the Syrian border. “Their defenses have collapsed and its fighters have fled.”
In September, ISIL fighters began capturing some 300 Kurdish villages near Kobane and thrust into the town itself, occupying nearly half of it. Tens of thousands of refugees spilled across the border into Turkey.
By October, ISIL control of Kobane was so widespread that the group even made a propaganda video from the town featuring a captive British photojournalist, John Cantlie, to convey its message that ISIL fighters had pushed deep inside despite U.S.-led airstrikes.
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