KOBANE - Rubble strewn streets, gutted buildings: the bloody battle for the Syrian border town of Kobani has wrought massive destruction, according to a team of AFP journalists who arrived on the scene Wednesday.
Kurdish forces recaptured the town on the Turkish frontier from the Islamic State group on Monday in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in their brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq.
After four months of fighting, the streets - now patrolled by Kurdish militiamen with barely a civilian in sight - were a mass of rubble and gutted buildings, the journalists said.
Kurdish fighters armed with Kalashnikov rifles greeted the journalists with a hail of celebratory gunshots into the air and made the "V" for victory sign.
On Tuesday, Kurdish forces battled IS militants in villages around Kobani, but the largely deserted town was calm on Wednesday.
The Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) had announced the "liberation" of Kobani on Monday, depriving the IS group of a prize to add to its territory in Syria and Iraq.
The United States said Tuesday that Kurdish fighters were in control of about 90 per cent of the town.
Observers say IS lost nearly 1,200 fighters in the battle, of a total of 1,800 killed, despite outgunning YPG forces with sophisticated weaponry captured from Iraqi and Syrian military bases.