A Kurdish fighter from the Peshmerga stands on a damaged armored vehicle from ISIS group in Kobane. Photo: ARA News
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Koben, Syria –Military sources reported on Tuesday that the fourth and last batch of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces left the city of Kobane after completing their military mission of backing Syrian Kurds against radicals of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), and liberating the city as well as various areas in the countryside.
The Peshmerga forces played a central role in the liberation of the city of Kobane and its suburbs.
Brigadier General Talaat Saleh Zerari, commander of the Peshmerga, told reporters in Kobane that Tuesday night the decision of the Peshmerga’s return to Kurdistan Region of Iraq was issued by the Ministry of Peshmerga.
“We are returning tonight to the Kurdistan Region,” he said.
“We have 124 military personnel, 12 of them are returning with the military vehicles, the rest are flying home to the Kurdistan Region by plane,” he added, pointing out that they will return the military equipment in Kobane to the Kurdistan Region.
Subsequent to nearly seven months of combatting the IS hardline group in the Syrian Kurdish city and its countryside, the Kurdistan Ministry of Peshmerga has decided to bring its forces home.
The Peshmerga have fought alongside the People’s Protections Units (YPG) in the predominantly Kurdish areas in northern Syria against jihadists who have been expelled from Kobane under the heavy blows of the Kurdish forces with the support of the U.S. warplanes.
According to activists, the departure of the Peshmerga from Kobane was precipitated by Turkey’s refusal to allow ammunition and fuel to be delivered across its border to the Peshmerga after its liberation, under the pretext that its agreement with the Kurdistan Region was only valid until the liberation of the city.
Kurdish journalist Rezan Hamo told ARA News that the Peshmerga departure from Kobane was also caused by the desire of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) –political leadership of the YPG forces– “to hold power in Syria’s Kurdish region and due to their apparent fear of a strong competitor like the Peshmerga in the region”.
The war-torn city of Kobane was invaded by IS jihadists in September and most of the city was destroyed before its liberation by the Kurds last February.
The city became a symbol of Kurdish resistance, after a combined force of Kurdish YPG fighters and Peshmerga troops –covered by the U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes repelled IS. The Kurdish joint forces declared the city liberated on January 26.
The first Peshmerga brigade left Erbil, capital of Kurdistan region, for Kobane in October 28. It has been followed by three more brigades over the last seven months. Causalities were reported among the four Peshmerga brigades, but the death toll has not been officially confirmed yet.
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News