Kobane after the Islamic State: A town in ruins

Wreckage left by fighting on a street in the centre of Kobane Picture: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

For the past four months, cameras across the world focused on the Syrian border town of Kobane. The struggle for the city was heavily documented; photographs showed the city engulfed in thick smoke and flames, and videos posted on the Internet showed bodies of those lost on the ground. The city became an important symbol of the war on the Islamic State.

And, on Monday, Kobane was taken back.

Kurdish fighters raised their flag over Kobane as thousands of Kurds on both sides of the border celebrated victory. Even though ground combat continued in the city’s suburbs, for the first time in four months, Kobane was relatively calm.

“Large parts of the city have become uninhabitable due to U.S. and Arab … air raids, detonation of booby-trapped vehicles and mutual shelling,” the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“It’s not a city anymore,” Agence France-Presse photojournalist Bulent Kilic told Time. “I saw all the bombs that were dropped on Kobane during this battle. And there’s only debris left, especially in the eastern part of the town from where ISIS tried to get in,” he said, using an alternative name for the Islamic State…

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  • Norman_In_New_York

    It’s been compared to Stalingrad.

  • BillyHW

    Islam brings only destruction.

  • Hard Little Machine

    This is why France imploded in 6 weeks in 1940. I say stop fighting and embrace Psychislam. Just kill your families now, surrender and welcome your future.

    • Frau Katze

      The Kurds in Kobani were Muslims already. But that didn’t stop Islamic State.

      • Hard Little Machine

        Sometimes you just have to embrace the darkside. So Kobane is in ruins. Oh well. What’s going to happen? Squadrons of UN planes dropping aid on them? Of course not. No Jews involved.