As thousands of Syrian Kurds return to Kobani, celebrations felt bitter sweet, as the level of destruction from more than four months of conflict became apparent.
Kurdish fighters wrestled control of the strategic border town from ISIL militants on Monday. US-led airstrikes have flattened parts of the city where the insurgents had been hiding out.
The airstrikes continued on Wednesday near Kobani as they continued the assault on ISIL targets.
Many of the 200,000 refugees who fled to neighbouring Turkey are eager to return, however, Ankara is reluctant to open its borders with the continued threat from militants.
Refugees at the Mursitpinar refugee camp, want to be sure it is safe to return.“Let us go home. Security forces should be established there to protect us and prevent cruelty. We should be protected so those vicious people won’t come back,” explained Nebu Abdi, a Kurdish refugee from Kobani.
“We want countries to help us, help our people. We want to return Kobani and live there without being harmed. We want to see that they are gone for good,” said Fadile Ismail a Kobani refugee and resident of the camp.
The US said that the expulsion of ISIL militants from Kobani had helped stop the momentum, but did not mark a turning point in the overall battle.