29 Jan 2015

Inside Kobani: happiness in a ruined city

From the city of Kobani, where a four month assault by Islamic State fighters has been repelled, Kurdish official Idriss Nassan describes a city crippled by violence, but optimistic about the future.

Mr Nassan, the co-deputy minister for foreign affairs in Kobani Canton – one of three administrative areas in the autonomous Kurdish region in the north of Syria, told Channel 4 News that people were happy to have achieved such an important victory against the Islamic State.

However, he said, half the city is now in ruins and there is no water, electricity is only supplied through generators, and people need food and medicine.

He called on the international community to get humanitarian supplies into Kobani so that hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled the city can return to their homes.

More: In pictures - Kurds celebrate as IS pushed out of Kobani

Islamic State fighters still control villages around Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, and Mr Nassan said that the US-led coalition – which launched hundreds of airstrikes on IS positions in the area to support Kurdish fighers on the ground – needs to continue pursuing the extremist group.

“They (Islamic State) will not give up”, he said.