BEIRUT: Kurds battling ISIS in Kobani were making advances in the flashpoint Syrian town on the border with Turkey, local officials and an activist group said.
Top Kurdish officials told AFP their fighters were advancing “street by street” and voiced confidence that ISIS would soon be ejected from the town.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based activist group, said the latest advances were mainly in the south of the besieged town.
“The (Kurdish) People’s Protection Units (YPG) recaptured streets and buildings in the south of Kobani, after a fierce battle against ISIS that began yesterday (Monday) evening,” the Observatory said.
The group also said the YPG and its Iraqi peshmerga allies shelled ISIS positions on Tuesday elsewhere in Kobani.
Kobani has been under siege from ISIS since mid-September and more than 1,000 people have been killed in the fighting, most of them jihadists.
Syria’s Kurds have been backed by Iraqi peshmerga fighters and Syrian rebels in their fight for the town, as well as a wave of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.
Syrian Kurdish chief Saleh Muslim said YPG forces were advancing “street by street” and that they would “recapture the town in a very short time.”
The Kurds’ top field commander in Kobani, Narin Afrin, a 40-year-old woman, said by telephone: “We have been resisting for 56 days in very difficult conditions.”
“We will liberate the town house by house, and we are determined to exterminate terrorism and fundamentalism,” she said.
Kobani has become a symbol of resistance against jihadists who control swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, committing brutal abuses against rivals and the local population.