Kurdish forces impede IS advance in northern Syria

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Kurdish fighters of the YPG during clashes against ISIS militants near Syria's Tel Abyad. File photo

ARA News

Kilis, Turkey – At least six militant fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), an al-Qaeda offshoot, were killed during clashes with the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) in the western countryside of Gire Sipi (Tel Abyad)  in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria.

Speaking to ARA News on the phone, media activist Omid Khoshman (who is accompanying YPG forces) said that clashes broke out between IS militants and YPG fighters (military arm of the Democratic Union Party PYD) on Tuesday after IS group bombed the Kurdish village of al-Hurriya (15 km west of Tel Abyad city) with two mortar shells –launched from the IS-held village of Slip Qiran.

“Light and heavy weapons were used in the clashes which lasted for more than two hours,” Khoshman reported.

According to Khoshman, among the IS casualties were two fighters from a local Arab tribe.

“At least six IS militants were killed and several others injured. The YPG forces stopped the advance of IS towards the Kurdish village in western Tel Abyad,” Khoshman told ARA News.

Meanwhile, activists from the city of Manbij in northern Aleppo told ARA News that members of the Islamic State kidnapped five Kurdish people from the city on Monday; Morrow Birkil, Misto Birkil (Morrow’s son), Mohammed Shekho, Khalil Zeno and Mahmud Shekho.

“After arresting the five Kurdish civilians, IS militants confiscated their houses and private properties on charges of belonging to Kurdish political parties,” local activists reported.

According to sources, the Islamic State group is carrying out an ethnic cleansing policy against the Kurds in the city of Manbij through confiscating the private properties of the Kurdish residents on charges of having ties with some Kurdish political parties, then resettling Arab migrants loyal to IS.

Militants of the Islamic State still hold Kurdish hostages, including more than 150 elementary students from the city of Kobane, who were kidnapped in the city of Manbij while returning from Aleppo and returning to Kobane after having performed their examinations on May 29, 2014.

 

Reporting by: Zara Seyda

Source: ARA News

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