A Kurdish graphity on the wall of partially devastated house in Kobane, reflecting the determination of the Kurdish forces to protect Kobane. Photo: ARA News
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Kobane, Syria – The liberated city of Kobane in Northern Syria has seen months of fierce battles between the Kurdish joint forces (People’s Protection Units, Peshmerga and FSA rebels) and militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).
Although the fighting has stopped and the city returned to its Kurdish warriors with support of the U.S.-led coalition, graffiti and banners from the conflicting factions can still be seen throughout Kobane. Yet the only flags waving at the top of buildings in the city are those of the Kurdish forces of the Peshmerga and the YPG, marking the full control of those forces over Kobane.
In every street in Kobane, there is graffiti that documents what happened during the months of battles.
Daesh (Islamic State) has been expelled out of Kobane and most of its Islamist slogans have been removed.
Speaking to ARA News in Kobane, Khalid Siddo, one of the returnee residents, told ARA News: “The IS terrorists were apparently staying in my building. Before they left they blew up this building. Although most of the building is devastated, some banners can still be seen on the remaining walls.”
“When I returned I recognized that they were running a generator when they were in control of my neighborhood, and extending a wire to my house that had been occupied by them while I was displaced to Turkey,” he said.
“They stormed most of the residential buildings in the city of Kobane,” Siddo added.
Mustafa Mamo, another returnee to Kobane, said that his house and shop had been taken over by IS militants after his displacement with his family.
“I fled my hometown of Kobane when IS terrorists started approaching my neighborhood. After the liberation of the city I returned, but almost nothing is left for me and my family; the terrorists have looted my property and damaged what they couldn’t take,” Mamo told ARA News.
“All I can see here is the graffiti that reflects their hatred towards Kurds. They left their hostile words on our walls before their withdrawal,” he said.