FSA and al-Nusra are losing influence and control in the North Kurdistan.
Renewed Jihadists-Kurdish clashes see defeat of the FSA/al-Nusra katibas …
Syria Committees with PCN-SPO / 2013 06 27 /
On May 4, YPG forces – the militias of the Kurdish PYD (Partiy Yekîtiya Democrat) the PKK in North Kurdistan – and Jihadists, including Al Nusra (al Qaida in Syria), clashed in areas close to the cities of Hasaka and Ras al-Ain.
“LIKE IN OTHER PARTS OF SYRIA, THE FSA STRATEGY IS TO SPREAD SECTARISM AND DIVISIONS”, COMMENT LUC MICHEL
Reports seemed to suggest that FSA forces were trying to arm Arab tribes in the town of Tal Tamer; encouraging them to confront Kurdish groups. “Like in other parts of Syria, the FSA strategy is to spread sectarism and divisions”, comment Luc MICHEL. Despite “hit and run” attacks which led to the deaths of several YPG members as well as civilians, YPG forces reportedly held off the armed groups.
On 25 May, clashes erupted between rebels and YPG forces in the Afrin region; leaving 11 Jihadists dead and 20 wounded.
THE SITUATION IN AFRIN DISTRICT.
21 ISLAMIST GROUPS DECLARED THE YPG « TRAITORS TO THE JIHAD »
On May 26, a statement titled “Echo of Qussayr“, signed by no less than twenty-one armed Islamic groups, declared the YPG « traitors to the jihad ». Their goal, according to the statement was a complete « cleansing process » of « PKK and Shahiba » (the Ba’athist militias). The statement was reportedly published by the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front.
The following day, Kurdish forces and rebels clashed with Jihadists supported by Turkish mecanised special forces near the Turkish border. Following this, Syrian Jihadists kidnapped hundreds of Kurds in Aleppo and were reported to be holding them hostage in a northern town.
On June 5, Kurdish forces attacked FSA-held Kurdish villages in the Afrin area. The Jihadists, who were entrenched in the villages for the previous two weeks after taking them over, were the same ones who attacked the Kurdish villages on May 25. After two days of fighting, by June 7, YPG forces captured the villages of Basila and Bashmera and secured the roads linking the villages of Jelbiri, Mirimin and Tel Rif’at, where they set up security checkpoints. As the Jihadists were retreating from Basila they burnt down Kurdish houses and property. The fighting and the destruction of their homes caused a mass migration of Kurds out of the village. It was also reported that Jihadists forces were trying to besiege Afrin city itself.
On June 8, clashes erupted on the road between the villages of Jelbara and Beineh.
On June 20, Islamist Jihadists and PKK fighters clashed in the Northern Syrian town of Ifrin killing 4. At least 30 people have been killed on both sides in fighting over the last week. Many more have been kidnapped by each side in « tit-for-tat » attacks. Fighting broke out recently after loyalist forces of the Arab Syrian Army reinforced the villages of Zahra and Nubbul, which are situated between between Aleppo and Ifrin. Jihadists accused Kurdish farmers of supplying these villages, leading to the Islamist Jihadists setting up roadblocks stopping Kurdish farmers from getting their food to market in Idlib and Aleppo. In many cases Kurdish trucks can only pass after paying high bribes.
THE LACK OF INFLUENCE THAT THE FSA HAD OVER THE ISLAMIST JIHADISTS FORCES
The latest fighting occurred after PKK fighters attacked an Jihadists roadblock, the group responsible for these roadblocks are an off-shoot of the al Nusra Front. Kurds blamed the fighting on the financial pressure being exerted by these roadblocks leading to losses in the ability of farmers to get to market, bribes being paid to the rebels and the price of luxury goods rising in Ifrin. The FSA tried to intervene by brokering a truce between the two sides however it broke down after two days. The renewed fighting was blamed on the lack of influence that the FSA commander, Colonel Mustafa al-Sheikh, had over the Islamist Jihadists forces.
Lire (en Français uniquement) l’analyse de Luc MICHEL :
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Pics : Women Kurdish militias of the YPG.
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