The Associated Press reports: The battle for the Syrian border town of Kobani was a watershed in the war against the Islamic State group – Syrian Kurdish forces fought the militants in rubble-strewn streets for months as U.S. aircraft pounded the extremists from the skies until ultimately expelling them from the town earlier this year.
It was the Islamic State’s bloodiest defeat to date in Syria. But now, three months since Kobani was liberated, tens of thousands of its residents are still stranded in Turkey, reluctant to return to a wasteland of collapsed buildings and at a loss as to how and where to rebuild their lives.
The Kurdish town on the Turkish-Syrian border is still a haunting, apocalyptic vista of hollowed out facades and streets littered with unexploded ordnance – a testimony to the massive price that came with the victory over IS.
There is no electricity or clean water, nor any immediate plans to restore basic services and start rebuilding.
While grateful for the U.S. airstrikes that helped turn the tide in favor of the Kobani fighters and drive out IS militants, residents say their wretched situation underscores the lack of any serious follow-up by the international community in its war against IS. [Continue reading…]