As the battle for Kobani rages on Syria’s border with Turkey, a local Kurdish official says Kurds have regained some districts from the extremists thanks to US-led airstrikes. Idriss Nassan claims ISIL now controls less than 20 percent of the town.
The airstrikes have killed hundreds of jihadists according to the Pentagon but Kobani’s fate remains in the balance.
“We all have to prepare for the eventuality, the possibility that Kobani could fall,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters.
“LIkewise, we ought to be prepared for the eventuality that other towns and other villages, other pieces of ground, will either fall to ISIL or we may not be able to dislodge them from that for quite some time.”
Turkey has taken in 200,000 refugees from the area but some fleeing the mainly Kurdish town say they were not welcome over the border and have instead crossed into northern Iraq. Their escape from Kobani was a mad dash for safety.
“We walked here and faced many difficulties along the way.” said 14-year-old Mizgin at Galiwan refugee camp.
“It was hard for me to get here. We fled on foot. I swear to God that it was not our decision to leave. Three days walking.”
Reports say more than 6,000 refugees from Kobani have arrived in Iraq in the last three days with an even bigger influx expected. Conditions are cramped, but families are at least safe from ISIL’s brutality.