ISIS in Syria withdrawing from Kobane outskirts

In a Boston meeting, Kerry described Kurdish fighters' success in recapturing Kobane as a 'big deal'

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Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants are withdrawing from areas around the Syrian town of Kobane, a group monitoring the war said on Monday, after Kurdish and Arab fighters met little resistance as they seized new ground overnight.

Kurdish ground forces, helped by U.S. and allied air strikes, drove ISIS from the town at Syria's border with Turkey last week. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war, said Kurdish forces known as the YPG had taken 13 villages since Sunday night.

"There is no large-scale resistance," said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory. Islamic State fighters who were on Sunday some 4 to 5 km (2.5 miles to 3 miles) from the town were now at least 10 km (6 miles) away, he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry described on Saturday Kurdish fighters' success in recapturing Kobane as a "big deal."

Kerry, speaking during a trilateral meeting with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in Boston, noted that ISIS has been "forced to acknowledge its own defeat."

The U.S.-led coalition targeting ISIS meanwhile said it carried out more than 700 airstrikes since August 8 to help Kurdish fighters drive the militants from Kobane.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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