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Islamic State Blames Coalition Airstrikes For Losing Kobani

The self-declared Islamic State says airstrikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition forced its fighters from Kobani, the first time the extremist group has acknowledged its defeat in the heavily contested Syrian border town, The Associated Press reports.

The AP reports: "In a video released by the pro-IS Aamaq News Agency late Friday, two fighters said the airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition were the main reason why [ISIS] fighters were forced to withdraw from Kobani."

As NPR's Alison Meuse reported on Monday, Kurdish militiamen, known as peshmerga, had succeeded in driving ISIS from the town, which is located within sight of the Turkish border.

Alison said that "Kobani represents the first instance that the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State ... has openly coordinated with a local fighting force on the ground in Syria. Syrian-Kurdish militiamen bolstered by rebel Free Syrian Army battalions and Iraqi [Kurds] ... received airdrops of American weaponry and major air support."

In the video, AP says: "One IS fighter vowed to defeat the main Kurdish militia in Syria, the People's Protection Units known as the YPG, calling them 'rats.' "

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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