Ana Sayfa -----
Blocks of low-rise buildings
with hollow facades, shattered concrete, streets strewn with rubble
and overturned, crumpled remains of cars and trucks. Such is the
landscape in Kobani, where the sounds of rifle and mortar fire
resonate all day long in fighting between Islamic State extremists
and the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders.
Kurdish fighters peek through sand-bagged positions, firing at
suspected militant positions. Female fighters in trenches move
quickly behind sheets strung up to block the view of snipers.
Foreign jets circle overhead.
An exclusive report shot by a videojournalist inside Kobani offered
a rare, in-depth glimpse of the horrendous destruction that more
than two months of fighting has inflicted on the Kurdish town in
northern Syria by the Turkish border.
There, Kurdish fighters backed by small numbers of Iraqi peshmerga
forces and Syrian rebels, are locked in what they see as an
existential battle against the militants, who swept into their town
in mid-September as part of a summer blitz after the Islamic State
group overran large parts of Syria and neighboring Iraq.
Helped by more than 270 airstrikes from a U.S.-led coalition and an
American airdrop of weapons, the Kurds have succeeded in halting the
militants' advance and now believe that a corner has been turned.
Several fighters with the YPG, the main Kurdish fighting force,
spoke confidently of a coming victory. Jamil Marzuka, a senior
commander, said the fighting has "entered a new phase" in the last
"We can tell everyone, not just those on the front lines, that we
are drawing up the necessary tactics and plans to liberate the
city," he said.
A YPG fighter, who identified himself only by his first name, Pozul,
said only small pockets of militants remain. Still, he said he and
other fighters must remain wary as they move around because Islamic
State snipers lurk amid the ruins and the militants have
booby-trapped buildings they left behind.
"They are scattered so as to give us the impression that there are a
lot of them, but there are not," he said.
The Kurds' claims of imminent victory may be overly ambitious. But
the AP's reporting has found that the Islamic State group's drive
has at least been blunted. Hundreds of militants have been killed,
most of them by airstrikes.
On Friday, activists said IS militants withdrew from large parts of
the so-called Kurdish security quarter, an eastern district where
Kurdish militiamen maintain security buildings and offices.
Militants had seized the area last month.
Zardasht Kobani, a 26-year-old YPG unit commander, has been fighting
day and night for weeks. Often he and his fellow fighters were short
on ammunition and sleep, he said. Now he feels an important victory
at is at hand. The battle of Kobani has had a crucial symbolism for
He said the militants have failed in Kobani and are looking for a
"But IS knows that escaping from Kobani will spell their downfall,"