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Kobane Opens First School Since Kurds Defeated ISIS

The Kurdish town of Kobane opened up the first school since the town was liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in January.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reopened the Shahid Osman primary school “with 10 teachers and an estimated 250 children.” The school provides eight classes for children aged 7 to 15. The majority of children recently returned to Kobane after the liberation.

In late January, the YPG announced that Kobane was finally free.

“Retaking that village is easy and today all of Kobane will be free,” said Peshmerga commander Muslih Zebari.

When the news broke, residents of Kobane in Turkish and Syrian towns celebrated. VICE News reported the sky lit up with fireworks, “while elated Kurdish residents bearing flame torches flooded the streets.” The Kobane flag stood “on a hill east of Kobane” to celebrate the forces who fought for the Kurdish town.

“Daesh [the Islamic State] took most of the places it wanted in Syria and Iraq but could not capture Kobane,” said Anwar Muslim, the prime minister of Kobane. “This victory marks the beginning of the end for Daesh.”

Now, residents are slowly filing into the city to reclaim it as their own. People are cleaning the streets and reopening their shops. Business owners look through the damage to salvage any goods they can find. Four months of heavy fighting between the Kurds and the Islamic State destroyed almost the whole city. Even if a building survived, the city lacks supplies.

“We have nothing left,” said tradesman Darwesh Hamo. “Sometimes I get 10 customers, but I have to turn them away because I don’t have anything they need.”

However, it is not stopping the Kurds from encouraging others to return.

“We want everyone to return here so that we bring back life to Kobane together,” said pharmacist Omar Yousif.

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