Islamists attack Kurdish positions west of Syria’s Hasakah

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A security building of the YPG Kurdish forces in Sere Kaniye. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Sere Kaniye, Syria – On Tuesday, clashes broke out between the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in the western countryside of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria. 

Local activists from Sere Kaniye told ARA News that sporadic clashes started between the two parties after IS members launched a surprise attack on the village of Tel Khanzir (21 km west of Sere Kaniye) near the Syrian-Turkish border.

After hours of fighting, the Islamic State announced its control over the village and the withdrawal of YPG fighters to the nearby village of Khirbet al-Banat (2.5 km east of Tel Khanzir).

Speaking to ARA News on the phone, a YPG media source (who spoke on the condition of anonymity) denied IS control of Tel Khanzir, adding that the clashes continued in the vicinity of the village until Tuesday evening and that the YPG was still in control of the area.

Aziz Dawoud, civil rights activist from Sere Kaniye told ARA News that the village of Tel Khanzir has a strategic hill that overlooks two major roads linking Tel Khanzir with the towns of Mabrouka Hanadi and Tel Abyad in Raqqa province. 

Dawoud added that in the event that IS gains control of the village, the group will be able to cut off the road leading to the eastern side of the city of Tel Abyad. Thus, IS will impede the progress of the joint forces (YPG and Peshmerga forces) and tighten their grip on that area’s main roads.

 

Reporting by: Sarbaz Yusuf

Source: ARA News

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