Kobane, Syria was invaded by Islamic State militants last September. After about four months of fighting, and with assistance from Peshmerga and the United States, today, YPG fighters are declaring Kobane a liberated state.
The BBC reports that the Popular Protection Units fighters (YPG) spokesman Polat posted on Twitter, "Congratulations to humanity, Kurdistan, and the people of Kobane on the liberation of Kobane." The U.S. Central Command also congratulated Kurdish fighters by releasing this statement, “While the fight against ISIL (IS) is far from over, ISIL's failure in Kobane has denied them one of their strategic objectives.”
Celebratory photos of Kurdish forces flying the flag of the Popular Protection Units have been posted to social media sites. It is also being reported that locals have been dancing and lighting fireworks in support of Kobane’s liberation.
ISIS first took control of about 300 villages before entering Kobane in September of last year, forcing thousands of people to flee to Turkey.
According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon calls Kobane “the most target-rich environment in Syria.” Seventy-five percent of U.S. airstrikes in Syria have targeted Kobane and surrounding areas.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates there have been approximately 1,300 casualties, the majority being jihadists.
Rudaw reports that Kurdish forces will soon drive ISIS out of surrounding villages. Peshmerga commander Muslih Zebari told Rudaw that in the midst of fighting, the Kurds have acquired an ISIS tank and a large amount of ammunition.
Even though Kobane has been freed of ISIS, the terrorist organization still has plenty of other territories under its control and is showing no signs of backing down anytime soon. The BBC reports that in Iraq, ISIS is in control of most of the western province of Anbar.