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ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: Islamic State remains dominant

KURDWATCH, November 3, 2014—Despite the provision of Iraqi-Kurdish weapons to the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the US‑Air Force’s ongoing attacks on Islamic State (IS) positions, the Islamic State continued its advance on the last YPG positions in the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). After the YPG reported successes in mid-October, the Islamic State began a wave of attacks on the eastern and southern districts of the city between October 22 and 27, 2014. IS‑fighters shelled the YPG-controlled districts with surface-to-surface missiles. They also used car bombs in an attempt to destroy YPG‑positions. On October 22, IS‑fighters were able to recapture Tall Shaʿir, four kilometers west of the city [further information]. The YPG currently controls an area smaller than four square kilometers in and to the west of the city of ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, while fighters for the Islamic State control an area of between eight hundred and one thousand square kilometers. The area in question includes the predominantly Kurdish regions around ʿAyn al‑ʿArab, which until recent weeks were under the control of the PYD. The PYD had established one of a total of three »governments« there. The majority of the Kurdish population was able to flee to Turkey from the regions captured by the IS.


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