Residents in Kurdish towns in Syria and Turkey broke into celebrations on Monday after Kurdish forces reclaimed the key town of Kobani from the Islamic State militants after nearly four months of fighting, though the United States has warned that the battle is not over.
The US Central Command backed the Kurdish claims of victory in Kobani, though stating that the forces controlled 90% of the town. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, said that the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had driven out all ISIS fighters from Kobani and 'have full control of the town'.
"While the fight against ISIL is far from over, ISIL's failure in Kobani has denied them one of their strategic objectives," the US Central Command said.
However, the fighting left more than 1,600 dead, of which most were jihadists, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
ISIS militants had launched an offensive on the Turkish border town of Kobani last September, raising their first flag near the town on 6 October 2014, according to the human rights monitor.
The Kurdish forces were amply backed by US and coalition airstrikes, with 705 strikes carried out around Kobani since September, defence officials told AFP.
Kurdish fighters hoisted their flags around the town of Kobani on Monday, while residents in Kurdish-dominated towns of Ras al-Ain in Syria and Diyarbakir in Turkey celebrated the victory with fireworks and songs.
"People are dancing and singing, there are fireworks. Everyone feels a huge sense of relief," Tevfik Kanat, a Turkish Kurd, told Reuters.
However, several ISIS supporters took to Twitter to claim that the fighting in Kobani was still raging.
"It is untrue (what) had been said in the media about the takeover ... still fierce battles ongoing," one tweet read.