Kurdish forces clash with Islamist rebels in Aleppo

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Kurdish YPG fighters (R) and Syrian rebels. File photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ALEPPO – Clashes renewed between the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Islamist factions linked to the Syrian armed opposition in Aleppo, local activists reported on Wednesday.

Over the past two days, the Kurdish forces, backed by allied rebel group of the al-Thuwar Army, have recaptured several villages in Aleppo countryside following fierce clashes with Islamist armed groups, during which casualties fell on both sides.

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, media activist Wael Mohammed said that the YPG forces, backed by rebels of al-Thuwar Army, were able to take full control of the villages of Miremin and Anab in the countryside of Afrin in Aleppo province after clashes with Islamist fighters.

The Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria) have seized these two villages several days ago before the Kurdish fighters and allies expel them again. The battles left casualties on both sides. 

“At least six Islamists have been killed,” Mohammed said.

The source added that five fighters from al-Thuwar Army, a YPG ally, were held captives in an ambush by al-Nusra Front on the outskirts of Kashtaar town in Aleppo suburbs.

Al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham fighters have been targeting the YPG headquarters in the Kurdish neighborhood of Sheikh Maqsoud with rocket-propelled grenades and hell cannon, injuring a number of civilians, eyewitness told ARA News. 

The Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood has been besieged by Islamists for weeks.

On the other hand, the YPG responded by targeting locations of Islamists in al-Shkef and Kastillo districts of Aleppo, causing the injury of four civilians, according to activists.

The rebel group of Ahrar Souriya Brigade announced in a statement earlier this week that they imposed a blockage on Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood. Islamist factions aim to storm the Kurdish neighborhood in a bid to expel the Kurdish YPG forces from the area, after accusing the YPG of having links with the Syrian regime. However, the YPG leadership repeatedly denied these allegations, stressing that its main fight at the moment is against radical Islamists. 

Reporting by: Taim Khalil

Source: ARA News

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