28/01/2015 - 00:00
Kobane victory, how it unfolded…

27 Jan 2015

The Kobane war started on the 15th of September and after a battle that lasted almost five months, Kobane is on the road to victory.

The battles are now largely ongoing to the east of the town. The western front had been cleansed of the ISIS thugs for quite some time now. On the southern front Kurdish forces have the upper hand. On both the western and southern fronts, the YPG and YPJ are conducting operations in the villages. In these operations, the ISIS thugs are being gradually pushed out.

In other words, the town of Kobane itself has been fully liberated, which means a massive victory both militarily and politically. The victory will be talked of for a long time. It will bring many benefits for Rojava, Syria and all Kurds struggling for freedom. Structures like ISIS and the political-military forces they are being backed by will all suffer the consequences.

If we take a look back at the last five months, we will have a better understanding of who will benefit and who will lose out from the outcome.

The siege began at the late hours of 15th of September, 2014. On the afternoon of the very same day, the foreign minister of the canton of Kobane, Omer Alus, had received a phone call from a UN official telling him that "Turkey is prepared to host 400,000 refugees coming in from Kobane".

Only a matter of hours after this phone call the attacks began from three sides. The YPG/YPJ forces began to evacuate tens of thousands of civilians from the surrounding villages of Kobane for their protection. In keeping with the gulf between the two forces, the YPG decided to narrow the front lines and pull ISIS into the town. You can think what you like of Kobane; but one thing is for sure, successfully evacuating 200,000 civilians who are faced with massacre is a comprehensive operation.

It was the Kurds of Northern Kurdistan that welcomed the people that fled from Kobane. Of the 116,000 people that fled Kobane, only about 10,000 are living in camps built by the Turkish state. The AKP government's constant reminder that they are "looking after 200,000 people from Kobane" is rubbish.

The plan was simple; ISIS was going to overrun Kobane, the AKP was going to deal the killer blow to Rojava, after losing Rojava the Kurdish freedom movement's hand was going to be weaker on the negotiating table in Imrali Island, and the AKP was going to be shown as the protector of the people of Kobane. Just like the Kurdish saying goes: the Turkish government was going to kill with the wolf, but cry with the shepherd.

They must have really believed in this plan because very early on they claimed that Kobane was "about to fall". The Kurds did not accept this heavy-handedness. On 6-7-8 October the Kurds rose against these plans and carried out huge protests. Although the government tried to criminalise these protests, they definitely played their part in the victory of Kobane.

As a result of the international pressure applied to the Turkish state for a humanitarian corridor to be opened into Kobane, the Turkish government allowed for 200 Peshmergas to cross into the town. The fact that the Peshmerga went into Kobane and supported the war effort with heavy weaponry was a success for Kurdish unity.

The protests on 1 November Global Day for Kobane, the airstrikes by the coalition forces and the weapons support by France and the USA via the KRG are all successes of the resistance in Kobane. Kobane was not only fighting for itself but for the whole of humanity and showed the world that ISIS could be beaten. In summary, before being a military victory the Kobane resistance is in fact a humanitarian, political and social victory.

However, the war around Kobane and Rojava in general is not over. This war is going to continue. It is almost impossible for ISIS to fight its way through into the town of Kobane. However, there are hundreds of villages waiting to be liberated on the outskirts of the town. These villages will be liberated, and the people will return to rebuild their lives.

we must not forget, while ISIS is able to base themselves in Raqqa, Jarablus and Tel Abyad then Kobane and the other cantons will always be in danger of attack. This potential danger is a threat to everyone. However, a defeated ISIS is faced with tough days ahead in both Tel Abyad and Raqqa. In other words, the war has only just begun, the victory of Kobane will open the door to new victories.

While operations of liberation continue in other places, the reconstruction of Kobane — who must be declared a town of martyrs — will begin.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of