Kobani Hostage Crisis Ends as Kurds Retake Key City from ISIS

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Reports surfaced over the past week of Islamic State (ISIS) terror attacks on the much-abused Kurdish border city of Kobani in Syria, but it now appears ISIS only recaptured parts of the town for a few days. Kurdish forces have reportedly driven ISIS from Kobani for the second time this year. The victory came at horrible cost, as NPR reports ISIS may have killed about 300 civilians over the past 24 hours, many of them slaughtered in a brutal house-to-house massacre.

Human rights groups describe the new assault on Kobani as “the second-worst mass killing by the Islamic extremists since last year.” The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cites eyewitness accounts of civilians blown up by rockets, slaughtered with car bombs, gunned down by snipers, and murdered at point-blank range during home invasions, as ISIS fighters “fired at everything that moved.”

According to Kurdish officials, ISIS was able to infiltrate the town with fighters to set up the attack by disguising them with Syrian rebel uniforms and waving the Free Syrian Army flag.

A key location freed by Kurdish fighters is the Mishta Nur Hospital, which is managed by Doctors Without Borders. Kurdish news agency Rudaw reported that ISIS militants were holding at least 50 hostages in the hospital before they were driven out.  The terrorists were evidently in control of the hospital for two full days.

Another hostage situation described by NPR took place at a restaurant, which Kurdish fighters stormed to take down the terrorists and liberate their captives.

Evidently, a few pockets of ISIS jihadis in Kobani remain for the Kurds to mop up.  Gawker quotes a spokesman for the Kurdish YPG militia saying the attack was always intended as a large-scale “suicide mission,” rather than a serious effort to hold territory. “Its aim wasn’t to take the city, but to create terror,” he said.

Plenty of terror has already been created, as the refugee crisis in Syria long ago reached crisis proportions and is shooting for historic-disaster levels.  NPR says at least 60,000 have been displaced by the fierce fighting between the Assad regime, ISIS, and other terror groups, and rebel forces–with perhaps another 200,000 to come.


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