Kurds and al-Qaeda: Fierce clashes near Syria’s Tel Abyad




ARA News

Urfa, Turkey− On Monday, fighters of the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targeted several Kurdish villages near the city of Tel Abyad/Girespi, in Raqqa province north Syria. Mortar shells were used by the ISIL.

ISIL fighters were reportedly backed by Shaykh al-Islam brigade during the operations against the Kurdish villages.  

Sources said that fierce clashes between the ISIL and Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) followed the attacks. Residents of Birkino, Birketik, Jalaba and Kendal villages reported that their houses were exposed to the al-Qaeda affiliate’s attacks on Monday, before clashes break out between them and the YPG forces.

The YPG was backed by the FSA-linked Shergo Ayub battalion during the clashes against the ISIL, locals told ARA News.  

The Shergo Ayub battalion −staffed by Kurdish fighters− has earlier confronted al-Qaeda affiliate when the battalion’s leader, Alaa Shekho, was detained by the ISIL on July 20, 2013. Fighters of Shergo Ayub were reportedly defending Kurdish areas against al-Qaeda in the suburbs of Raqqa city. 

Meanwhile, as clashes continue between the Syrian rebels and the al-Qaeda affiliated ISIL in different areas in Syria, battles took place between ISIL fighters and members of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement in the city of Tel Abyad, near the Turkish borders. Activists in the city reported that heavy weapons and mortars were used during the clashes that started on Saturday and continued on Monday. 

In other developments, media sources in Tel Abyad  told ARA News that clashes erupted between the Turkish army and Islamist militants near the Syrian-Turkish borders on Sunday, when Islamists were trying to cross the borders into Turkey, using Tel Abyad crossing. 


Reporting by:  Ridwan Bizar and Hanaa Muslim

Source: ARA News


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