Speed Reads


The Kurds beat ISIS in Kobani, but there's not much Kobani left

The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and their peshmerga allies handed Islamic State a decisive, humiliating defeat when they pushed ISIS out of the Syria-Turkey border town of Kobani. But "victory seems to have come at the price of the town itself," say Ayla Albayrak and Joe Parkinson at The Wall Street Journal, in their dispatch from Kobani:

Streets lie in ruins. Water and power systems are shattered. Decaying corpses of jihadist fighters remain, some stripped of footwear and clothing, and one still swaddled in a suicide vest. Thousands of people died, and another 200,000 remain refugees across the border in Turkey. [Wall Street Journal]

The battle took a big toll on ISIS, too — U.S. Central Command says that it killed about 2,000 ISIS militants with its 700 airstrikes — but while ISIS conceded defeat on Saturday, it also vowed to return to Kobani. Or what's left of it. The BBC's Quentin Sommerville and cameraman Tim Facey visited Kobani after ISIS's ouster, and you can watch their bittersweet report below. —Peter Weber