The Washington Post reports: Kurdish fighters have turned the tide against Islamic State militants in the battle for control of the Syrian border town of Kobane after two days of relentless bombardment by U.S. warplanes, Kurdish officials and activists said Wednesday.
By nightfall, the town’s Kurdish defenders had pushed the jihadists back more than four miles from the western edge of the town and were advancing into the eastern and southern neighborhoods of the city, said Ihsan Naasan, the deputy foreign minister of Kobane’s self-proclaimed government, speaking from the Kurdish-controlled town.
He claimed that Kurdish fighters with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, now control 80 percent of the town, after losing more than half of it in heavy fighting over the previous days.
“The YPG now have the initiative,” he said, crediting heavy U.S. bombardments in recent days alongside resistance by the outgunned and outnumbered Kurdish militia. “They are on the counteroffensive against the Islamic State.”
If the Kurdish fighters manage to retain their momentum and retake the town, it would mark the first time that U.S. airstrikes have helped eject the Islamic State from territory in Syria since the war was expanded to include the northern and eastern parts of the country a little over three weeks ago. [Continue reading…]