Kurdish fighters target Islamist strongholds near Syria’s Tel Temir



ARA News

Tel Temir, Hasakah, Syria− Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) −the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD)− took over the village of Tel Hafyan (1 km south-east of Tel Temir in Hasakah province) on Monday.

The YPG members have stationed tanks at the entrance of the village of al-Rukba, near Tel Temir city, in a preparation for a military operation in the village that was long held by Islamist fighters, sources said. 

In the southern suburbs of Tel Temir, sporadic clashes took place between the YPG and Islamist fighters linked to Ansar al-Sharia, Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and Jabhat al-Nusra groups, on Moday. 

Dozens of casualties in the ranks of the Islamist groups and the YPG were reported. 

The Kurdish YPG forces started an intensive crackdown against the strongholds of the Islamists in al-Rukba village on Tuesday, using heavy weapons and artillery shells, sources reported to ARA News

“The bombardment of different areas led the villagers to flee and evacuate their homes,” said Ahmed Sayyid Khider, a resident of al-Rukba.

Khader emphasized in a phone call with ARA News that the majority of al-Rukba’s Kurdish residnets have suffered the most under the “domination of the al-Qaeda fighters” in the village.

“Children of al-Rukba live a state of fear and anxiety since weeks. We hope for peace and coexistence with other components of the society in the area,” he said. “Although we want to stay here and not leave our houses behind to look for a safe haven somewhere else, but we are actually tired of violence and shortage of basic supplies.” 

Some of the Kurds in northern Syria support the YPG forces against the Islamist groups. However, others believe that the Popular Protection Units (YPG) are not really concerned about the people’s safety, but “they look for power”. 

The YPG has reportedly taken over all-Gheibish village (1 km west of the Tel Temir), after fierce clashes with the al-Qaeda-linked ISIS fighters.

According to sources in the area, clashes broke out last week between the Kurdish YPG and ISIS fighters near the village of Bajabujeh, where the YPG tries to “free” the area from Islamists. Bajabujeh’s fighting still continues. 

During the Islamist groups’ domination in the Kurdish areas, dozens of Kurdish residents were subject to abduction and humiliation. Sources told ARA News that 16 Kurdish students were kidnapped in September by Alhaq battalion −a group linked to Jabhat al-Nusra. “Those students were taken to an anonymous destination, and no information was revealed about their destiny,” sources said. 

Activists reported that fierce fighting between the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) and Islamist armed groups continues in several Kurdish areas in north-eastern Syria, including villages in the countryside of Sere Kaniye and Qamishlo’s suburbs. 


Reporting by: Jan Perwer

Source: ARA News

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


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