After over 50 days of fierce fighting, the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in the border city of Kobane reportedly have gained a major strategy area, which now has cut off all supply routes from Raqqa for the ISIS inside the city.
In the battle for capturing the hill of Mashta al Nur that began on Monday, over 16 ISIS members were killed and the remaining militants were now left trapped on the hill, Middle East Monitor reported.
Initial reports claimed that the Kurdish fighters had "liberated" the entire hill, but it appears that they only have a part of the hill.
The Kobani Kurdish forces from the People's Protection Units, YPG, and Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga forces now however have a "strong" presence on "the Helinc Road" which is used by ISIS to bring reinforcements and supplies from Tel Abyad and Raqqa.
Reports claim that while retaking the hill of Mishte-Nur is a significant achievement, the battle for Kobane is far from over. "ISIS is defeated mostly," Idris Nassan, deputy foreign affairs minister for the Kobane told Middle East Monitor.
"ISIS is still in Kobane, but with Mashta al Nur, ISIS will be in a very small part of Kobane. Defeating ISIS will be more easy."
YPG #Kobane Command: The Helinc Road used by ISIS to bring reinforcements and supplies from Tel Abyad and Raqqa is now under our control.
— Amed Dicle امد دجلة (@AmedDcle) November 12, 2014
Both the YPG and Women's Protection Units, YPJ, have been battling ISIS militants for over 59 days now despite being severely outnumbered and outgunned. Last week, a unit of 15 Peshmerga soldiers and some Free Syrian Army forces entered Kobane to fight with YPG in a morale-boosting show of solidarity.
Militants have been using "the Helinc Road" to bring in fighters, ammunition and supplies from Raqqa. Earlier last month, the Iraqi Kurdish forces too employed similar tactics of targeting strategic supply-link roads to "cripple" ISIS in the Iraqi town of Zumar and several nearby villages.
The ISIS that runs several boot camps in Raqqa to recruit children, what it calls 'Cubs of Islamic State' or 'Cubs of al Baghdadi,' has been even sending in children to fight in the battle for Kobane.
From Raqqa hundreds of teenage boys have been recruited and sent in as reinforcements, besides that several young children also are used as couriers to bring in food and ammunition for the ISIS fighters. Reports have found that at least 30 children from Raqqa recruited by ISIS have been killed in clashes with Kobani Kurdish fighters.
"YPG and YPJ forces are resisting, despite ISIS bringing in fresh blood from Raqqa," Kurdish affairs analyst Mutlu Civiroglu told IBTimes. "They [ISIS] did not foresee this fight going on for so long, while Kurdish forces prepared themselves well for a prolonged battle."