The Kobane Siege

A timeline of reports – July 2014 – June 2015


The battle of Kobane was epic! Not even George RR Martin or JRR Tolkien could create this and this was reality! This was the turning point in Syria for the Kurds, for Syria and for the coalition war against ISIS/Daesh. The Kurds of Kobane demonstrated amazing courage and resilience while being surrounded by ISIS from three sides. Turkey lay on the North and didn’t lift a finger to help. They still severely restrict aid from coming into Kobane even a year later. This has made rebuilding quite a challenge.

I’ll post links blow to reports in chronological order as it went down. They will show how this battle became a model for success in the fight against Daesh, setting a precedent for a pattern of successes and it will demonstrate the strength of spirit and heroism that Kurds deserve to be honored for.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the Kurdish groups or military strategy. I’m simply a witness from a far.

May 2014

BBC did much of the work already in putting together a timeline of Kobane:

Kobane Siege
Looking on: Residents watch from Turkey as the battle ravages their town. Credit: BBC.
Rojava Battle Map, May 2014

Map of North Syria : May, 2014
Yellow = Kurdish Cantons/Regions
Blue = ISIS aka Daesh
Green = Other Rebel Groups
Pink: Assad Regime forces


Kurdistan National Congress: Canton Based Democratic Autonomy of Rojava (Western Kurdistan – Northern Syria): A Transformation Process from Dictatorship to Democracy

Kurdistan National Congress: Canton Based Democratic Autonomy of Rojava (Western Kurdistan - Northern Syria): A Transformation Process from Dictatorship to Democracy

Rojava-framework-c Rojava-framework-b

May 10, 2014
Syrian Kurdish Leader Visits Turkey as ISIS Advances on Kobane
By Jonathon Burch, Rudaw

May 11, 2014
Kobane official calls for more outside help to defeat ISIS
By Sharmila Devi, Rudaw

May 12, 2014
Kurdish forces stop ISIS attack in Kobane
By Rudaw

May 25, 2014
ISIL executes Kurdish man near Syria’s Kobane, cutting off his head
By Ahmed Salim, ARA News

June 2014

Map by @arabthomness

June 6, 2014
Many Displaced as ISIS Attacks Syrian Kurdish Villages with Heavy Artillery


June 10, 2014
Kurdish Female Commander in Kobane Kills Militants in Suicide Attack


June 10, 2014
Syrian Kurds blame Turkey for backing ISIS militants

By Amberin Zaman Via

June 10, 2014
Statement by HDP (People’s Democratic Party of Turkey) on Developments in Rojava

Via HDP, ‎@HDPenglish

June 21, 2014
Kidnapped Kurdish school children are being taught to be Jihadists by ISIS


June 24, 2014
Kurdish refugees from Kobane said they were terrorized by the Turkish border guards


July 2014

Map by @arabthomness

July 7, 2014
Kobane Under Intense ISIS Attack, Excluded from UN Humanitarian Aid
By Harvey Morris, Rudaw

July 8, 2014
ISIS Now Attacking Kobanê On Three Sides

July 10, 2014
Kurds to Obama: Save Kobane
By Osamah Golpy, Rudaw

July 11, 2014
Turkish troops kill Kurdish activist at Kobane border
By Alexander Whitcomb, Rudaw

July 15, 2014
Kurds enter Syria from Turkey to fight jihadists
By AFP via Yahoo

July 16, 2014
Hundreds of Turkey Kurds enter Syria Kurdistan to fight ISIS
By KurdPress

July 18, 2014
While Iraq burns, Isis takes advantage in Syria
By Michael Stephens & Sofia Barbarani,

July 18, 2014
Kurds struggle to unify against ISIS
By Nalan Sipar,

July 18, 2014
Kurds join forces in northern Syria to repel advances made by Islamic State militants in the region

July 22, 2014
ISIS Is Using Its Captured Iraqi Weapons Against the Kurds in Syria
by Mutlu Civiroglu @MutludC, Vice News

August 2014

Map by @arabthomness

August 7, 2014
Obama authorizes ‘targeted airstrikes’ in Iraq to counter militants
By Jim Sciutto, Catherine E. Shoichet and Barbara Starr, CNN

August 11, 2014
A U.S.-designated terrorist group (PKK) is saving Yazidis and battling the Islamic State
By Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post

August 13, 2014
US forces reportedly helping Kurds and Yazidis against ISIS at Mount Sinjar, Iraq (near Syrian border)
The Irish Times

August 15, 2014
Mapping Syria
By Thomas Van Linge, @arabthomness on Twitter.

August 28, 2014
Obama’s statement about Ukraine, Syria and Economy: Video and Transcript


September 2014

Map by @arabthomness

Sept. 1:
Saleh Muslim, Co-chairman of the PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria), released a letter on behalf of the people who live in the cantons of Rojava to mark the World Peace:

Full letter by Saleh Muslim:

Sept 5:
Obama holds press conference at NATO Summit:

Sept. 11:
Petreus Backs Obama on ISIL:

Sept. 11:
White House posts Fact Sheet about its Strategy to counter ISIS/ISIL:

Sept 11:
Analysis: YPG – the Islamic State’s worst enemy

Sept 12:
Foreign Policy: Meet the Badass Women Fighting ISIS/ISIL

Sept 12:
YPG and FSA form a joint military unit to combat ISIS in Syria

Sept 13:
Saleh Muslim, Co-chairman of the PYD (Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria) says “We Will Rebuild Sinjar”

Sept 13 – Jan 26
Progression of the Kobane Battle Map

Sept 14 – 27
1 Map showing ISIS closing in on Kobane fast, taking much of the canton, reaching city edge:

Sept 15:
Video: Americans join Kurdish Peshmerga to fight barbaric ISIS

PBS News Hour via Youtube

Sept 15:
YPG liberate 14 villages from ISIS:

Sept 15:
Heavy clashes between YPG and ISIS:

Sept: 15:
Over 30 civilians massacred by ISIS in Tel Hamis, Rojava

Sept 15:
ISIS Attacks Kobane canton:

Sept 17:
Fierce clashes on three fronts in Kobane:

Sept 18:
Kurds call for US air strikes as 133 children from Kobani, on the Turkish border

Sept 18:
ISIL seizes 21 Kurdish villages in northern Syria, close in on Kobane

Sept 19:
Saleh Muslim issues another statement “Whoever is going to do something for Kobanê must do it now”:

Sept 19:
YPG statement over clashes in Kobane since Sept 15:

Sept 20:
Children and women evacuated from 100 villages in Kobanê canton:

Sept 20:
Thousands flock to Kobane border:

Sept 21:
A thousand people cross to Kobanê to fight ISIS

Sept 21:
Pic: Kurdish lady ties kids to herself with a rope. She fears losing them as she flees ISIS offensive in Kobane (by Jenan Moussa)

Sept 22:
UN refugee agency says Turkey urgently needs help to care for 130,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed the border in recent days as IS fighters are reported to be closing in on the Syrian town of Kobane. The US has said it will attack the group in Syria, though so far it has carried out air strikes against IS only in Iraq.

Sept 23: Obama delivers a statement at the Arab Coalition Leaders Meeting

Sept 23:
Obama: Coalition Against ISIS Shows ‘This Is Not America’s Fight Alone’:

Sept 23:
Kurdish-Arab Rebel Alliance May be Key to Obama’s Syrian Strategy

Sept 23:
1st video of US air strikes against ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria shortly after they started posted by activists.–c …

Sept 23:
Obama’s Coalition starts airstrikes in Syria:

Sept 23:
Arab countries in the region join coalition strikes and/or fund strikes against IS
(Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait)

Sept 25:
Kobane Residents Remain Defiant as Islamic State Closes In

Sept 25:
Why ISIS wants to conquer Kobane:

Sept 26:
Kurds Plead for Help in Kobane Against ISIS Forces

Sept 27:
Kobane: Heroic defence resists ‘Islamic State’ assault

Sept 27:
BBC: US-led air strikes hit IS at Kobane, on Syria’s border with Turkey:

Sept 27:
Rudaw: First Coalition Airstrikes Hit Kobane Outskirts

Sept 27:
WaPo: Airstrikes carried out against Islamic State in battle for Kobane

Sept 27:
AlJazeera on the airstrikes in Kobane:

Sept 28:
Besieged people of Kobane plead for weapons

Sept 29:
Turkey stops Kurds from entering Syria to fight IS:

October 2014

Map by @arabthomness

Oct 1:
Fighting on Turkish border as Kurds with US air support battle to defend key Syria town (Kobane) from ISIL:

Oct 1:
Video report from the BBC: Two weeks in, Shelling of ‘besieged’ Kobane goes on. But some fear it’s not enough.

Oct 2:
Coalition Air strikes pounded terrorists around Kobane “We did not know the size of losses until now”

It was around this time that I was on the phone with Centcom’s public relations office telling them it wasn’t enough, that Kobane was going to fall if they didn’t step up the airstrikes.

Oct 3:
YPG Press Release:

Oct 3:
Joe Biden speaks bluntly about Turkey’s and others’ support for ISIS:

Oct 4:
Reporter Jenan Moussa (who was on the Turkish side of the border at the time) said her and fellow reporters were teargassed by Turkish army at border close to Kobane:

Oct 5:
Arin Mirkan: Female Kurdish Soldier Overtaken By ISIS Blows Herself Up, Killing Several Jihadists

Arin Mirkan: Female Kurdish Soldier Overtaken By ISIS Blows Herself Up, Killing Several Jihadists

Nathan Francis, Inquisitr

Oct 5:
Coalition Airstrikes on Kobane averaging 4-5 per day. Still a slow ramp-up:

Oct 5:
Kurdish female fighter in suicide attack on Isil amid fighting for key Syria town

Oct 6:
Kurdish mother-of-two launches suicide attack to slow Islamic State advance in desperate battle for Kobane
DailyMail, John Hall and Larisa Brown

Oct 6:
Guardian: Syrian Kurds say airstrikes not doing enough:

Oct 7:
Kurdish female suicide bomber revealed to be mother of two
Al Arabiya

Oct 8:
US Steps Up Airstrikes Near Kobane to 7-8 per day
EA Worldview

Oct 8:
Reporter Jenan Moussa on the ground: “Kurdish fighters say planes helped to stop ISIS advancing. But not enough to push them back.”

Oct 10: US-led coalition ramps up air strikes in Kobane, Syria. 20 airstrikes in 2 days:

Oct 11:
In memory of Arin Mirkan
Kurdish Question

Oct 11:
Telegraph: Kurdish fighters push back Islamic State in Kobane

Oct 13:
Jenan Moussa: ISIS admits to selling and enslaving Yazidi women:

Oct 13:
Turkey agrees to let Washington use its bases including Incirlik for the air campaign. Female YPJ fighters filmed firing at Islamic State jihadists (Headline says Peshmerga, but I’m pretty sure that’s a mistake. I think they’re confusing Peshmerga with YPG).

Oct 14:
Bloomberg: Turkey Army Hits PKK Targets as Unrest Over Kobane Deepens

Oct 15:
Jon Stewart: The Daily Show: Turkey denies access to airbase and bombs Kurds. He says it best:

Oct 15:
Chicago Tribune: Airstrikes on Kobane step up. General John Allen: “Clearly … given the circumstances associated with the defense of that town, there was a need for additional fire support to go in to try to relieve the defenders and to buy some white space, ultimately, for the reorganization on the ground. We have picked up the tempo and the intensity of the air strikes in order to provide that white space.”:

Oct 15:
World Bulletin: Kurds five coordinates for Kobani Airstrikes:

Oct 15:
Daily Mail: The great Kobane fightback: After symbolic recapture of hill with black flag of ISIS, Kurdish fighters take back swathes of city as US step up airstrikes:

Oct 16:
BBC: Islamic State: What has Kobane battle taught us?

Oct 16:
Reuters: US State Dept held direct talks with Syrian Kurdish group in Syria

Oct 17:
Rojava Report Blog: Interview With YPG Commander: ISIS Has Lost In Kobanê

Oct 19:
“Kurdish journo in Kobane @arahmangok reports that ISIS carried out the attack last evening after another 400 ISIS arrived to eastern front.”

Oct 19:
Press Release from CentCom: AIRDROPS ARRIVE!


Oct 20:
Foreign Policy: U.S. Ramps Up Push to Save Key Syrian Town – Air drops Aid

Oct 20:
Dr. Welat, working in #Kobane, says medical supplies airdropped by USA are very important, but will only last about a week.

Oct 22:
CentCom Press Release:

Oct 23:
Newsweek: Inside Kobane: The Diary of a Siege

Oct 28:
Footage of airstrikes on Kobane, refugees on Turkish side watching their own home get bombed, applaud. Battle for city ongoing.

By Oct 30, nearly half of Kobane had been taken by ISIS but YPG started to gain ground back after this: