Kurds, SDF allies advance against al-Qaeda in Syria’s Aleppo despite Turkish strikes

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Kurdish fighters who joined the ranks of the SDF alliance, heading towards the front lines in northern Aleppo. A Kurdish female fighter is seen raising the V for victory. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

ALEPPO – Subsequent to fierce clashes with militants of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), backed by allied rebels from the western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made new gains in Syria’s northern Aleppo province on Monday evening.

The YPG and SDF allies captured large parts of the Tel Rafaat town in the northern countryside of Aleppo, military sources reported.

The Kurdish advance comes amid continuous shelling by the Turkish army on YPG’s positions in northern Aleppo for the third consecutive day.

Turkey’s bombardment on the Kurdish positions was considered as a direct support to Syrian Islamist groups, including Nusra Front–al-Qaeda wing in Syria.

“The YPG units, baked by SDF allies, have taken control of major parts of the strategic Tel Rafaat town, which is one of the main supply routes for the radical Islamist groups in northern Aleppo,” SDF spokesman Ahmed al-Omar told ARA News.

“Our forces have cut off the Azaz-Tel Rafaat road after fierce clashes with militants of Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement Ahrar al-Sham,” al-Omar said. “Today’s gains will enable the YPG and allied SDF units to make larger gains against the Islamists in the northern countryside of Aleppo in the coming days.”

The source added that the Turkish bombardment has caused casualties among their fighters and civilians in the area, “but it could not impede our progress”.

In the meantime, Kurdish spokesman Hebun Osman told ARA News that dozens of young men in Tel Rafaat have joined the ranks of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces after regaining control of the town and its surroundings from the fist of the Islamists.

“The local support by the people of Tel Rafaat and other parts of northern Aleppo to the SDF reflects the bitter conditions those people had to encounter under the control of the Turkey-backed Islamists,” the official said.    

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News 

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