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After months of fighting, Islamic State has been driven out of Kobane

Another city in Iraq was also liberated.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army, left, and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), centre.
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army, left, and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), centre.
Image: Jake Simkin/AP/Press Association Images

KURDISH MILITIA HAVE driven the Islamic State group from the Syrian town of Kobane, dealing the jihadists a heavy blow after months of heavy fighting.

Across the border in Iraq, meanwhile, a top army officer announced troops had “liberated” Diyala province from IS jihadists.

In Syria, the Kurdish advance in Kobane, on the frontier with Turkey, marked the culmination of a battle lasting more than four months in which nearly 1,800 people were killed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) had “expelled all Islamic State fighters from Kobane and have full control of the town”.

“The Kurds are pursuing some jihadists on the eastern outskirts of Kobane, but there is no more fighting inside now,” said the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman.

Kurdish forces were carrying out “mopping-up operations” against remaining IS forces in the Maqtala district, on the town’s eastern outskirts.

Mideast Syria Inside Kobani A Kurdish fighter shows the extent of the damage from a truck bomb in Kobane. Source: AP/Press Association Images

YPG spokesman Polat Jan also announced the news on Twitter, writing: “Congratulations to humanity, Kurdistan, and the people of Kobane on the liberation of Kobane.”

Mustafa Ebdi, an activist from the town, said the “fighting has stopped”.

YPG forces were “advancing carefully in Maqtala because of the threat of mines and car bombs,” he added.

The Kurdish advance came after the Pentagon said the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq had carried out 17 air strikes against jihadist positions in Kobane within 24 hours.

The loss of Kobane, also known as Ain al-Arab, would be an important defeat for IS.

The group has lost 1,196 fighters since it began its advance on the town on September 16, said the Britain-based Observatory.

At one point, the jihadist group had looked poised to overrun Kobane.

© – AFP, 2015

Read: Turkey will help Kurds fight Islamic State across the border in sudden policy shift >

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