Syrian Democratic Forces report new gains north Aleppo after clashes with al-Qaeda

Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces are seen in a village near Tishreen in northeastern Aleppo after liberating the area from ISIS. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

KOBANE – Subsequent to fierce clashes with militants of al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recaptured the village of Keshtaar in Aleppo countryside, military sources reported on Sunday. 

Keshtaar village, located in the suburb of Tel Rafaat city, has been constantly used by Nusra militants and allied Islamists as a base from which they used to attack the Kurdish region of Afrin northwest of Aleppo. 

“Nusra terrorists escaped the village under heavy shelling by our forces,” the Kurdish-Arab alliance of the SDF said in a statement. 

“After fierce clashes, our forces were able to liberate Kashtaar and the surrounding farms from the terrorists,” the SDF leadership said. “We seized a large deal of ammunition and heavy weapons from Nusra and its allies.”

On the other hand, al-Nusra Front said in a statement that its withdrawal from Kashtaar came after heavy airstrikes hit its headquarters there, causing more than 20 casualties in the group’s ranks.

This comes amid continues advance by the western-backed SDF units against militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front in the northern countryside of Aleppo and other areas northeast Syria.

On Friday, the SDF seized control of the villages of Tat Mrash and Tanab in the vicinity of Azaz city north of Aleppo after clashes with militant fighters of al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham. 

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo

Source: ARA News

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