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Tel Abyad, Raqqa, Syria − A number of Kurdish and Arab tribal figures held a meeting in the city of Tel Abyad on Sunday and discussed the recent violent clashes the area saw between Kurdish and Islamist armed groups.
The meeting was aimed to reach an efficient solution for the escalating crisis in the area. According to the participants, a major step to be taken in order to end rifts is to initiate an exchange of captives by both sides.
To play a role in solving the crisis, the prominent Arab and Kurdish figures agreed during the meeting on handing over the bodies of victims fell in battles between Kurdish forces of Jabhatal-Akrad and the Popular Protection Units (YPG) on the one hand, and Islamist fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham group (ISIS) on the other hand.
A member of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) said that the number of bodies to be exchanged are about 54 (four of them belong to the brigade of Jabhat al-Akrad and fifty belong to Islamists).
Meanwhile, Islamic battalions in Tel Abyad have announced withdrawal from battles in the region, especially the ones who came from the Raqqa province.
A source (preferred to stay anonymous) told ARA News that the parties −participants in the meeting− agreed on re-installing barriers by the Islamic battalions in the village of Ain al-Arous (3 km south of Tel Abyad), emphasizing that it is up to the residents of the region whether to accept the alleged presence of Islamist groups or not.
In an interview on phone with ARA News, the same source said that members of the battalion of Al-Sakhani −who recently stormed houses of Kurdish residents in Tel Abyad− showed their willingness to return stolen items to their owners, adding that negotiations are ongoing between both parties, while an apparent ceasefire is held by the fighting groups.
On the other hand, under the banner of “We are All Brothers”, members of the Tel Abyad Youth Congregation and a number of Arab activists organized a protest in front of Khalil Buzan’s house (Kurdish citizen) in Tel Abyad, demanded the armed groups to end violence and hostility, and insisted that the maintenance of the Kurdish-Arab brotherhood is the only guarantee for civil peace in the area.
ARA News has been told that both Abed Al-jarbou and Nadim Al-khedir participated in the meeting as representatives from Tel Abyad, while Omar Alloush, a leader in the Democratic Union Party (PYD), has joined in the consultations from the city of Kobani/Ain al-Arab. Both sides blamed the opposition’s armed forces of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), considering it responsible for the current rifts across the area.
Source: ARA News