Amid the chaos in Syria, the country's Kurds have managed to resist the advances of the Islamic State and carve out a zone of unprecedented autonomy in their own lands.
The Syrian border town will now be self-administered, but part of the canton, or province, of Kobane around 40 miles to the west, in a move that's likely to fuel Turkish concerns of Kurdish expansion.
Photos of the naked, bloodied corpse of a Kurdish fighter killed by Turkish police have prompted calls for revenge and further complicated the struggle to defeat the Islamic State.
The border town of Kobane is a powerful symbol of Kurdish resistance against the Islamic State. Its residents, who fled in their thousands last year, are returning with the hope of rebuilding their lives.
VICE News visited the southeastern Turkish town of Cizre, where a cycle of airstrikes and renewed attacks on Turkish troops threaten a return to a 30-year struggle that claimed more than 40,000 lives.
Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said border security would be increased as authorities probe the connections of a specific person they believe was a suicide bomber tied to Islamic State militants.
The blast took place outside a cultural center as a political group held a press conference discussing the reconstruction of majority Kurdish town of Kobane just across the Syrian border.
Witness and victim testimony obtained by VICE News indicates the militants targeted civilians in a surprise attack on the Syrian border city.
It is as yet unclear how so many IS militants were able to infiltrate Kobane, even under disguise, and avoid the many YPG checkpoints on its fringes.
Reportedly disguised in Kurdish and Free Syrian Army uniforms, Islamic State militants launched simultaneous assaults on Syrian Kurds and government forces.
While photographing refugee camps along the Syrian-Turkish border, Olivia Kortas spent time with the children who were forced to flee their hometown of Kobane.