Kobanê (in Arabic: Ayn al-Arab) is a city in Aleppo Governorate in northern Syria, part of Western Kurdistan called Rojava (west) by Kurds. The city had a population of 44.82
Kobanê (in Arabic: Ayn al-Arab) is a city in Aleppo Governorate in northern Syria, part of Western Kurdistan called Rojava (west) by Kurds. The city had a population of 44.821 in the Syrian census of 2004, whereas recent political activity has pointed at more 400.000 people, majority of them Kurds and minorities of Arab, Turkmen and Armenian. In 2014, it was declared to be the administrative centre of the Kobanê Canton of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava).
According to Salih Muslim Muhammad, who is from the city, Kobanê began as a simple train station built in 1912 along the Konya-Baghdad Railway.
Armenian refugees fleeing the Armenian Genocide founded a village next to the train station in 1915, and were soon joined by Kurds from nearby areas. After demarcation of the border with Turkey along the railway line in 1921, part of the town was left on the other side of the border, today incorporated in the Suruç district as Mürşitpınar and there is an eponymous border crossing.
By the middle of the 20th century, there were three Armenian churches in the town, but most of the Armenian population emigrated to the Soviet Union in the 1960s. The People's Protection Units (YPG) captured Kobanê on 19 July 2012. Since July 2012, Kobanê has been under Kurdish control, while the YPG and Kurdish politicians await an autonomy for the area they consider part of Syrian Kurdistan. After similar less intense events earlier in 2014, on 2 July the town and surrounding villages came under attack from fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. On 16 September the IS resumed its siege of Kobani with a full scale assault from the west and south of the city. In October 2014 the defences were breached and on Tuesday October 7 Turkey's President announced that the city would fall shortly unless more airstrikes and ground troops would be employed. Shortly after this remark it was reported that the situation changed in favor of the Kurds. As well, US-led airstrikes were having effect.
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