Triumphant Kurdish forces on Kobane Hill. ANF photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish leaders issued messages of congratulations on the liberation of Kobane by Kurdish forces, with Kurdistan President Massoud Barzani saying that humanity had triumphed “over the savagery of terrorists.”
“It is a great honor for the Kurdish people that they stood along 1,500 kilometers in the face of the most brutal terrorist organization and defeated it,” said Barzani, referring to the Islamic State’s (ISIS) frontiers along Kurdish lands.
“This victory is the victory of humanity over the savagery of terrorists,” he said.
Kurdish forces that have been fighting an ISIS onslaught on Kobane for more than four months said Monday they had regained control over the entire Kurdish-ruled city, driving out the jihadi insurgents from all neighborhoods.
Muslih Zebari, a Peshmerga commander in the city, said that Kurdish forces reclaimed Mamit and Tarmik, two villages five kilometers south of Kobane on Monday evening.
Barzani applauded the “brave resistance” of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG), also thanking the Turkish government for allowing Peshmerga forces from Erbil to pass through Turkey to help the YPG in Kobane, which lies in Syrian Kurdistan, or Rojava.
“Kobane did not fall because their will was strong,” Barzani declared.
Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani echoed similar sentiments, saying Kobane had proven itself as “the symbol of resilience and defense against the ISIS terrorists.”
He said in a statement: “All Kurdish parties and the people of Kurdistan were united in helping Kobane. Today, I congratulate all the Peshmerga and male and female YPG fighters on the liberation of Kobane and I hope that soon all the villages around Kobane and every part of Kurdish land is liberated from ISIS terrorists.”
In an official statement the YPG command said: “This is the victory of the line of freedom over the dark ISIS.”
“The Kobane town of Rojava Kurdistan has been entirely liberated from ISIS gangs,” the YPG said. “Our forces have not disappointed the expectations of our people and humanity by waging an epic struggle against ISIS terror for 133 days now,” the statement read.
The Kurdish president also thanked Western coalition forces for their “continuous air support and their role in the resistance of Kobane.”
A large force of ISIS militants armed with tanks and heavy artillery invaded Kobane in mid-September last year and advanced to the city center, leading to a siege of nearly 20 weeks.
But fierce YPG resistance, a contingency of Peshmerga forces that arrived with heavy artillery at the start of November, combined with US airstrikes, halted the ISIS advance and soon turned the tide in the Kurds’ favor.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) also congratulated the Kurdish people, describing the event as a “proud page in the history of Kurdish struggle.”
In a similar message, TEV-DEM, an umbrella of Syrian Kurdish groups said: “We believe that the victory in Kobane is the beginning of the demise of ISIS in the whole region.”
US military officials were more cautious in their statements.
"I am not prepared to say the battle there is won,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said on Monday. “The battle continues. But as of now friendly forces, I believe, have the momentum."
Kurds in major cities such as Diyarbakir, Qamishlo and Erbil took to the streets through Monday night in celebration.