Kobane, officially known as Ayn al-Arab, is a city in northern Syria. Since 2014 it has been the capital of the self-declared Euphrates Canton.
Kobanî took of as a railway town around 1911, the name itself is the word company, referring to the German railway company who built that section of the Konya-Baghdad Railway during that time. With the fall of the Ottoman Empire and subsequent creating an border between Kobanî and the regional center Suruc, in Turkey meant that the area was economically marginalised for a long time.
However, Kobanî became known to the world during the Battle of Kobanî that ranged between September 2014 and February 2015. In a decisive battle the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces defeated ISIS and it proved to be a turning point in the war.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Summers in Kobane, like in most of the region, are usually very hot. Temperatures exceed 30° at noon in July and August, and there is no rainfall at all during summer months that could bring refreshment to the scorched city. During winter months, temperatures range from 5° to 15°, and all of Kobane's rain falls during the winter. Snowfall is rare, but possible from December to January. The best months to visit Kobane are March, April, October, and November.
As of 2020, the only way of reaching Kobane is overland from the south, preferably from Raqqa or Manbij. The 1 Mürşitpınar border crossing with Turkey is closed and till likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Mürşitpınar has a railway station, but there has been no trains since the start of the Syrian Civil War.
The city can be easily traversed by foot. There is no public transport network, so if you can't go around by foot then private taxis will be your only alternative.
As of late 2018 there is no bicycle rental system available in the city.
- 1 [dead link] Resistance Monument (Qada Arîn Mîrgan, Berxwedan), Arin Mirkan Roundabout. 24/7. A monument to the Kurdish women who fought during the Siege of Kobane to liberate the city from ISIL invaders. The monument was commissioned by the Suleimania governate and designed by Kurdistan artist Zirak Mira. It depicts a Kurdish woman in traditional guerrilla clothes with angelic wings stretching from her back, and took 3 months to complete. Inaugurated in 2016, the monument is surrounded by actual ISIL tanks destroyed by female fighters during the siege. Free.
- Mizgefta Seydan Mosque.
- Nadim Center Shopping Mall, ☏ .
- Ronaha Restaurant.
- 1 Gedo Hotel (فندق جدو), Gedo Hotel, Minaz Rd, Maqtalah, Maktal. A small hotel a 2-minute walk from the city centre.
The 1 Kobane hospital is staffed but suffering from a shortage of medical supplies. If you would need serious medical treatment, you are likely to be transported to Damascus because the border crossing with Turkey is closed.
The city is under protection of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), who act as its de facto police force. Aside from petty theft there is little crime in Kobane, and there has been no terrorism threat since the defeat of ISIL in 2015.
Most rubble has been cleared with the exception of the museum area, where rubble has been deliberately left as a reminder of the Siege of Kobane. Unexploded ordnance is likely to be buried under the rubble, so don't explore these ruins without a guide. When in doubt, ask SDF officers which places are safe to visit.