A black flag torn down
YUMURTALIK, Turkey, October 25, 2014 - Since the end of September, scores of journalists have flocked to the Turkish border village of Mursitpinar to view from a vantage point the fierce fighting in the flashpoint Syrian town of Kobane between Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish fighters, who are backed by Western planes carrying out daily air strikes.
Thursday, October 23: I have been in this once sleepy and nondescript village which has now catapulted on to the world map for about 10 days. At 5:30 pm my colleague Bulent Kilic, the photographer in AFP's Istanbul office, gets a tip-off that IS fighters have planted their flag on a hill about three kilometres (two miles) west of Kobane, just in front of the Turkish village of Yumurtalik.
It's not the hill where they planted their black flag on October 7 in a photograph that made global headlines. It's on another side of the town, not visible from the area where journalists have been staking out for days to witness and report on the fighting from a distance.
We go as near as possible and when we get there we see the IS fighters on the hill with their flag firmly planted on top. The sky reverberates with the sound of the coalition aircraft flying overhead. It's quite rare to see the planes and it's impossible to make out which countries they belong to but the sound of the engines is incessant. Bulent and I believe a strike could materialise at any time. The villagers allow us to clamber onto the roof of a house just a few hundred metres north of the hill. I set up my camera and start filming.
Barely 15 minutes later our prediction comes true: A flurry of bombs rain from the sky onto the hill. The sound is deafening and the hill is obscured by clouds of black smoke. The jihadists respond by firing heavy weapons. We don't know who they are targeting but it's too risky to remain perched on the roof, so we leave our vantage point and go indoors.
The next morning, the IS fighters are nowhere to be seen on the hill. They have been replaced by fighters who have planted a Kurdish flag.
Mostafa Abulezz is an AFP video journalist based in Cairo
Kurdish fighters stand by a flag of the People's Protection Units (YPG) on Tilsehir hill on October 24, 2014
(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)