Kurds recapture third of villages around Kobane

A man walks down a street filled with abandoned vehicles and debris from damaged buildings in the northern Syrian town of Kobane. (File photo: Reuters)

Syrian Kurdish forces have recaptured more than a third of the villages around Kobane from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group since routing the jihadists from the town a fortnight ago, a monitor said Sunday.

“The (Kurdish) People’s Protection Units (YPG) have recaptured 128 villages out of some 350 in the past two weeks,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

The YPG recaptured Kobane on the border with Turkey from ISIS jihadists on Jan. 26, after four months of fierce fighting backed by Syrian rebels and US-led coalition air strikes.

“The ISIS withdrew from villages east and south of Kobane mostly without resistance, but fought hard to try to keep control of villages to the west,” said Abdel Rahman.

“That’s because it wants to try to protect areas under its control in Aleppo province. But the Kurds are steadily advancing,” he told AFP.

The U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out strikes against the ISIS jihadists in Syria since September.

In recent days, it has continued to pound ISIS positions around Kobane, while YPG troops backed by Syrian rebels press the fight on the ground.

Last Update: 19:39 KSA 22:39 - GMT 19:39