Kurdish forces continue to drive ISIS militants back in the Kobani area and have retaken more than 100 villages from the jihadists since pushing the last of them out of the urban center following a 130-day siege two weeks ago. Fighters of the Peoples Protection Units (YPG). supported by Peshmerga and Free Syrian Army forces and US-led air-strikes, have now reached the village of Karamox, 20 kilometers east of Kobani. Kurdish forces claim gains against ISIS in every direction. Among key villages retaken from ISIS, which had held them since September, are Kofi, 25 kilometers south of Kobani, and Rovi, a stop on the road linking Kobani with Aleppo. On the western front, the Kurdish forces are now positioned at Karako village, 20 kilometers from Kobani's urban center.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that Kurdish forces have taken 128 villages out of 350 in the Kobani area—with the fiercest fighting now to the west of the town. "The ISIS withdrew from villages east and south of Kobane mostly without resistance, but fought hard to try to keep control of villages to the west," the Observatory's director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. "That's because it wants to try to protect areas under its control in Aleppo province. But the Kurds are steadily advancing."