IS Withdraws From Kobane

IS Withdraws From KobaneIS Withdraws From Kobane

Islamic State militants are withdrawing from areas around the Syrian town of Kobane, a group monitoring the war said on Monday, after Kurdish and Arab fighters met little resistance as they seized new ground overnight.

Kurdish ground forces, helped by US and allied airstrikes, drove IS from the town at Syria's border with Turkey last week. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war, said Kurdish forces known as the YPG had taken 13 villages since Sunday night. "There is no large-scale resistance," said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the observatory. Islamic State insurgents who were on Sunday some 4-5 kilometers from the town were now at least 10km away, he said.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry described on Saturday Kurdish fighters' success in recapturing Kobane as a "big deal."

Kerry, speaking during a trilateral meeting with his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in Boston, noted that IS has been "forced to acknowledge its own defeat."

The US-led coalition targeting IS meanwhile said it carried out more than 700 airstrikes since August 8 to help Kurdish fighters drive the militants from Kobane.