IS degraded in Syria's Kobani but gains are slow: Kurdish Peshmerga commander
Iraqi Kurdish Peshmergas in Kobani, Syrian Kurdistan. Photo: Peshmerga sources/SN
KOBANI, Syrian Kurdistan,— Kurdish forces control half of the besieged Kobani town in Syrian Kurdistan, where gains are slow and fighting to recapture territory from the Islamic State (IS) means fighting street-to-street, the Peshmerga commander in the city of Syrian Kurds said.
Ahmed Gerdi, who is in charge of the 150 Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga sent there by the Kurdistan Region late last month to reinforce the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG), said that 10 of his men had been wounded in the daily battles.
He said the half of the city controlled by IS has been destroyed by the US and coalition air strikes that have been pounding the religious fanatics for weeks.
“ISIS is not a big threat anymore,” Gerdi told Rudaw by telephone from Kobani. “They are under immense attack from the Kurdish forces on the ground as well as air strikes.”
“Making advances isn’t that simple,” Gerdi said. “This is not a village that can be controlled in a single attack. It is a slow street fight. We need to secure every alley that we take.”
The Peshmerga have been reinforcing the YPG fighters that have defended the Kurdish city since early September against what is believed to be IS’s biggest force in Syria and Iraq.
On Thursday, the Syrian Opposition Coalition accused the YPG of killing four civilians who it said were going for shelter to Kobani.
But the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the YPG’s political wing that controls Syrian Kurdistan, or Rojava, said the four had been IS fighters.
“The Syrian opposition is looking for new ways to act against the Kurds of Rojava,” said Ibrahim Ibrahim, a PYD leader.
“We had hard evidence that the four were members of ISIS and were in the fight,” he said. “Otherwise, what were they doing on a frontline like this?”.Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, rudaw.net | Ekurd.net
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