The western front of the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria may not be going well for ISIS. Al-Arabiya reports:
Kurdish fighters have seized the security and government district of Syria's Kobane from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and now control 80 percent of the border town, a monitoring group said Monday.
"The People's Protection Units (YPG) fighting the jihadists [ISIS] for nearly four months have full control of the security district," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based group said Kurdish fighters had seized control of the area after fierce clashes since Sunday night.
The Kurdish fight against ISIS has unified various Kurdish factions and quickened the creation of a Kurdish proto-state in northern Iraq, as Der Speigel reported from on the ground:
Officially, we're in the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq. Really, though, it is a PKK [Kurdish Workers' Party] state. A region of 50 square kilometers (19 square miles) of rugged, mountainous territory, it provides a home for PKK leadership in addition to training camps for fighters. It also has its own police force and courts. The surrounding hillsides are idyllic with their pomegranate trees, flocks of sheep and small stone huts. But they are also dotted with Humvees, captured by the PKK from the Islamic State terrorist militia, which had stolen them from the Iraqi army.
It is here in the Qandil Mountains that PKK leaders coordinate their fight against Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian town of Kobani and in the Iraqi metropolis of Kirkuk in addition to the ongoing battle in the Sinjar Mountains. Turkey, some fear, could soon be added to the list.
Despite the alignment of interests with the United States and other Western powers who have backed the fight against ISIS, the PKK remains on the State Department's list of foreign terrorist organization for employing violence against Turkish civilians in its campaign for an independent Kurdish state.