Syrian town finds itself on world stage

Press correspondent Corey Hunt is on a six-week journey to the Turkey-Syria border just outside the flashpoint city of Kobani, which is locked in a struggle between Syrian Kurds and the Islamic State. Here, he shares some of his personal story and experiences at the front. 

More than three weeks after American warplanes descended upon the battlefront in Syria’s civil war, Islamic State (IS) militants are still continuing their relentless march across the country’s northern frontier, leaving a trail of carnage and abuse detailed over and over again by those lucky enough to escape. Not everyone is willing to submit quietly - something the IS leadership is finding out the hard way - as residents of a stubborn city continue to fight back.

Situated on the border of Turkey, Kobani is an agricultural community where most of the population is ethnically Kurdish. The town faces a struggle on its own, in a nation that once prided itself on Arab nationalism under the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, the dictator who brutally cracked down on dissent and denied citizenship to many Kurds for decades. Those days may be behind them after Assad’s hold over much of the north collapsed in the summer of 2012, but Kobani’s residents find themselves under siege from a new foe. Islamic State forces – emboldened after their conquests in neighboring Iraq and victories over moderate rebel forces elsewhere in Syria – are making steady gains in surrounding villages, cutting off supply routes and depriving the city of any access to the Euphrates River.


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