U.S. led coalition airstrikes have inflicted a major blow to ISIS, driving the terrorist group out of the Syrian town of Kobani. In a video released by the pro-IS Aamaq News Agency on Friday, two Islamic State fighters said the group have admitted defeat, citing devastating airstrikes as the main reason why they were forced to withdraw from Kobani.
In what is set to be a major blow to IS, Kurdish officials are stating the town is free of the fighters who have controlled over half the town for several months.
“The warplanes were bombarding us night and day. They bombarded everything, even motorcycles. We had to withdraw and the rats advanced.”
Despite the major setback, one ISIS fighter said they would attack the town again and ultimately defeat Syria’s main Kurdish militia, the YPG.
The failure to hold Kobani represents a major blow to ISIS, who lacked any answer to the combination of devastating airstrikes and ground assaults by Kurdish militia.
“A while ago we retreated a bit from Ayn al-Islam because of the bombardment and the killing of some brothers.”
The air strikes aimed to halt the surge of militants and drive them from key locations. Since September, ISIS have taken over about a third of Iraq and Syria and declared a new caliphate, already capturing more than 300 Kurdish villages.
However, in an embarrassing blow to morale, they began to flee the town once they came under significant coalition fire. According to reports, the Islamic militants have lost over 1,000 fighters during the ground and air assault. More than 200,000 Kurds have fled their homes, many seeking refuge across the border in Turkey.
The Turkish disaster and emergency management authority opened its biggest refugee camp to date in the town of Suruc, accommodating 35,000 refugees from Kobani. It is reported that Turkish troops are blocking the border to stop residents from returning until the town is safe. Although with the destruction on such a massive scale, it remains to be seen how many residents will ever return to Kobani.
“They tell us Kobani does not exist any more. We do not know how long we will be staying here. We will return once the town is rebuilt. That’s not going to happen soon.”
The success of the strikes in Kobani demonstrate the effectiveness of a patient military strategy. And this patient approach has proved a rather humiliating and major blow to ISIS.