Life returns to Syria’s Tel Abyad after western-backed forces repel ISIS offensive

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SDF fighters check dead bodies of ISIS militants who were killed after trying to infiltrate into Tel Abyad city in Syria's northern Raqqa province. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

TEL ABYAD – After two days of fierce clashes with militants from the the Islamic State (ISIS), Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) –backed by a U.S.-led coalition’s air cover– were able to repel an offensive by the radical group in the city of Tel Abyad in Syria’s northern Raqqa province. 

Life started to return gradually to Tel Abyad as influx of basic supplies was recovered.

A number of ISIS militants who tried to infiltrate into Tel Abyad and the nearby town of Suluk were reportedly killed at the hands of SDF fighters.

Laila Mustafa, Head of Tel Abyad City Council, told ARA News: “After the victories of the Syrian Democratic Forces over ISIS in Tishreen Dam and Shaddadi in northeastern Syria, the terrorists tried to attack Tel Abyad areas with a Turkish support.”

“ISIS is our main enemy in this war, and we will resist it at any cost,” she said. 

ISIS militants who had infiltrated into the border city of Tel Abyad were reportedly equipped with explosive devices.

“People of Tel Abyad were afraid of facing a similar fate as residents of Kobane, where ISIS committed bloody massacres against Kurdish civilians months ago,” said Fatima Simo, an eyewitness.

“In the midnight on Saturday we heard about the jihadis’ movements that were coupled with bombardment from the Turkish border. At that moment a state of panic spread among the people and we thought ISIS is coming. I was very afraid and shaking; I was wondering how can I save my children and where do we have to go,” Fatima, 53, told ARA News in Tel Abyad.

Local sources said that ISIS militants have executed over a dozen civilians in the villages of Hamam Turkman and Ain al-Arous in Tel Abyad suburb after storming civilians’ houses.  

Eli Muhammad, member of the SDF units in Tel Abyad, said that stability was restored in the city and its suburbs after clashes between their forces and ISIS gunmen. 

“Our forces have killed the terrorists who had infiltrated into the area over the past two days,” he told ARA News. “Some of the terrorists detonated their explosive belts before being captured by the SDF.”

The Kurdish YPG forces, backed by allies from the SDF, had recaptured the strategic city of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey in June 2015, subsequent to fierce battles against ISIS militants. Liberating Tel Abyad and its countryside caused a state of alert among ISIS militants, especially for its location in northern Raqqa –the group’s de facto capital in Syria. 

Reporting by: Haytham Haci

Source: ARA News 

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