Kurds celebrate liberation of Kobane as ISIS calls for new Paris-style attacks

Vice News reports: On Monday, the same day Kurdish fighters in Syria decisively broke the Islamic State’s bloody and sustained siege of Kobane, a senior leader of the extremist group called for jihadists to carry out fresh Paris-style attacks across Europe.

Fireworks lit up the dark night in Turkish and Syrian towns and refugee camps across the border from the embattled Syrian town of Kobane Monday night, while elated Kurdish residents bearing flame torches flooded the streets, celebrating the liberation of their friends, family, and neighbors, who until earlier that morning had been under militant control since September. In the distance, the Kurdish flag flapped silently on a hill east of Kobane — a declaration of the resilience of peshmerga fighters and rebel brigades who had fought deadly battles to drive out the extremists for four months. [Continue reading…]

David L. Phillips writes: The battle for Kobani is significant for several reasons:

  • It’s a major setback for Daesh’s propaganda campaign. Daesh uses its aura of invincibility to gain recruits. In Kobani, Daesh was bloodied and beaten.
  • It has brought global attention to the Kurds of Syria and their social revolution, which is based on grass-roots democracy, women’s empowerment, and environmental sustainability.
  • It was a public-relations disaster for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey sealed its border to cut off Kobani’s defenders. Erdogan demanded that the U.S. impose a no-fly-zone and a security buffer in exchange for Turkey’s cooperation with the U.S.-led multinational coalition fighting Daesh. Many observers (including this author) allege Turkey is providing military, logistical, financial and medical support for Daesh and other jihadists.
  • It did what no Kurdish leader could do: Kurds from Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran found common cause in forming a united front against terrorism and the Islamic State’s fascist nihilism.

The Islamic State’s defeat in Syria followed a victory for the Peshmerga in Sinjar, where they defeated Daesh and saved thousands of Yazidis. The Iraqi armed forces is also rolling up Daesh in Iraq’s Diyala province.

Despite these battlefield gains, challenges remain. Thousands of displaced persons need assistance resettling to their ruined homes in Kobani. Villages around Kobani are still under control of Daesh. Cooperation between Washington and the Democratic Union Party, which represents Syrian Kurds, is shallow and should expand.

Today Kurds rejoice. The world applauds their heroism — and joins their celebration.

When Daesh’s obituary is written, Kobani will be enshrined as the turning point in the struggle to destroy the Islamic State.

Reuters adds: Turkish police fired tear gas on Tuesday to stop people trying to cross back into Kobani to celebrate its retaking, a Kurdish politician and a journalist said. [Continue reading…]

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