Kurds expel ISIS from Syria’s Kobane: monitor

Pentagon declines to declare the battle for Kobane was over

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Kurdish forces were in complete control of the Syrian town of Kobane near the Turkish border on Monday after months of fighting with the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group has said.

The Syrian Kurdish forces have been backed by near daily U.S.-led airstrikes around the town, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic, and supported by Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

But the Pentagon declined to declare the battle for Kobane was over or declare that ISIS forces had been entirely pushed out after a four-month battle that became a focal point in the international fight against the group.

“I am not prepared to say the battle there is won. The battle continues. But as of now, friendly forces ... I believe, have the momentum,” said Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren.

U.S. and coalition forces launched 17 air strikes near Kobane since Sunday, the military said earlier.

The Pentagon last Friday said about 70 percent of the city was in control of Kurdish forces.

Warren did not provide an updated figure on Monday, even as the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian Kurdish YPG forces had retaken the town, close to the Turkish border.

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