The Corner

Report: ISIS Nearly Expelled from Kobani

A bit of good news in the fight against the Islamic State. Via the Associated Press:

The extremist Islamic State group has nearly been pushed out of the Syrian border town of Kobani, activists and Kurdish officials said Monday, making a major symbolic victory both for the Kurds and the U.S.-led coalition targeting the extremists.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and senior Kurdish official Idriss Nassan said the Islamic State group had been nearly expelled, with some sporadic fighting on the eastern edges of the city near Turkey. . . .

The expulsion of the terrorist outfit from Kobani is a stunning turnaround; by mid October, many had considered the town lost.

However, this victory ought not to be overstated. As the Daily Beast reported earlier this month, the Islamic State has almost doubled the area it controls in Syria over the past four months. The following maps show the approximate gain:

Kobani has not been easily won. According to the AP: 

Since mid-September, the battle for Kobani has killed some 1,600 people, including 1,075 Islamic State group members, 459 Kurdish fighters and 32 civilians, the Observatory reported earlier this month. The Islamic State group, increasingly under pressure, has carried out more than 35 suicide attacks in Kobani in recent weeks, activists say.

Ian Tuttle — Ian Tuttle is the former Thomas L. Rhodes Journalism Fellow at the National Review Institute.

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