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Inside Kobani, scenes of devastation on every side

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By Nick Paton Walsh, CNN

 

Kobani, Syria (CNN) -- When violence swallows a city as wholly as it has Kobani, as in so many of Syria's mottled cities, the fight becomes about who wins, rather than what is left for the victor.

Its streets have been so ground down to the bone, that the prize -- so small but so intensely fought over -- is now unrecognizable.

Every time you open your eyes in Kobani, you see the damage.

INTERACTIVE: Explore the devastation of this Syrian city

There are people still there, but it is hard to gauge how many. Food is scarce, as is fuel for heat. And day and night, indiscriminate, homemade mortars rain down on Kurdish homes -- ISIS borrowing a technique, it seems, from the Syrian regime, and using domestic gas canisters and junk metal to kill or maim civilians.

 
"Every time you open your eyes in Kobani, you see the damage," writes CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. "There are people still there, but it is hard to gauge how many." "Every time you open your eyes in Kobani, you see the damage," writes CNN's Nick Paton Walsh. "There are people still there, but it is hard to gauge how many."
"To the city's east, is the most hotly contested front line," Walsh says. "We are led there by Meedya Raqqa, the pseudonym of a 22- year-old Kurdish female fighter."
"Amid all the machismo war usually generates, it is jarring to see the defense of this city performed by women in their early 20s. They are very emotionally in touch with each other, often hugging. The polar opposite of ISIS's worldview."
"It is hard to know what will be left to celebrate once the fighting ends but... the intensity of the battle remains clear."
 
 
 
You can hear the clank of these metal shards bouncing on the street outside as you try to sleep.

Airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS -- often three thuds in rapid succession -- shake the very ground you are lying on. They have held ISIS back, but not enough for the Kurds.

From what we saw, the front lines appear much more toward the city's center than some Kurdish advocates would suggest. To the city's west, too, ISIS fighters are nearer than sometimes advertised. This is a fight that is still in the balance.

To the city's east is the most hotly contested front line. We are led there by Meedya Raqqa, the pseudonym of a 22-year-old Kurdish female fighter.

In a testament to the egalitarian way the Kurds live, she is this unit's commander. She has been fighting ISIS for two years -- almost since the Sunni extremist group's beginning.

ISIS fighters have been as close as five yards away from her. She has lost friends here, but also made them.

READ: At least 40 fighters killed in Syrian city of Kobani

'I resist to avenge their death'

"I lost a lot of friends in this war and I resist to avenge their death," she tells me. "No matter the destruction in Kobani, it can be built again -- the important thing is to destroy this strange enemy that entered our land."

The hardest loss to bear is that of her closest friend Reeban early this year. The Kurds have been fighting a lot longer than coalition airstrikes have been falling.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/03/world/meast/syria-kobani-fighters/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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Guest Tuesday, 19 November 2019