Kurds and Islamists struggle for power in Syria’s Tel Abyad

29-11-2013

 

ARA News

Tel Abyad, Syria− Amid clashes between Kurdish forces and al-Qaeda affiliated fighters in Tel Abyad/Girespi, north Syria, residents of the city suffer under worsening living conditions. Beside lack of basic supplies in the city, power is cut off since last week in most of Tel Abyad’s neighbourhoods.

Since four months on, Kurds and Islamists struggle to gain control over Tel Abyad and the surrounding villages. Some areas are under the domination of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), while others are under the control of the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG)−linked to the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Activists reported that three explosions took place near the Kurdish populated western suburbs of Tel Abyad on Wednesday, as the ISIS fighters continued selling the area by use of heavy weapons. 

“Residents are moving from one neighbourhood to another to avoid the Islamists’ attacks,” and activist in Tel Abyad told ARA News. “While the YPG forces try to control some areas, the ISIS targets residential neighbourhoods and kills civilians to force the Kurdish YPG to withdraw.” 

Al-Kitkaniye village, west of Tel Abyad, was shelled by the al-Qaeda affiliated ISIS group on Wednesday evening. The village was taken over by the YPG nearly one month ago. Dozens of villagers were injured, and hundreds of them left their houses amid the damage caused by the ISIS shells, resorting to neighbouring regions. 

On the other hand, rifts broke out between the ISIS and the Islamic group of Shaykh al-Islam in Grespi/Tel Abyd last week. The ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Sham) fighters have reportedly detained the leader of Shaykh al-Islam group, Timsah, on Tuesday, after criticizing his allies in ISIS regarding the latter’s attempt to monopolize power in areas under its domination.

Members of ISIS reported that Timsah will be brought to the recently established Shariaa court in the city, “to be judged in a fair trial after his try to split the ranks of ‘rebel’ groups”. 

According to ISIS leadership, Timsah was found guilty of kidnapping the citizen Mallouh al-Qamar, an Arab resident of Tel Abyad. “Timsah has demanded al-Qamar’s family a ransom of 30million Syrian Pounds,” a statement issued by ISIS on the issue on Wednesday said. However, activists argued that Timsah is detained by ISIS “after criticizing practices of ISIS members in some areas of Tel Abyd”. 

Over the recent months, dozens of Kurdish residents in Tel Abyad have been detained by the ISIS group in a try to put pressure on the Kurdish forces of the YPG to withdraw from the city and its suburbs. But the YPG continues what it called “liberation campaign” against al-Qaeda affiliations in the Kurdish areas, north Syria.  

 

Reporting by: Hana Muslim

Source: ARA News

(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid. Translation by: Abdul Ilah Ibrahim)

 

 

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