Scores of jihadis killed in clashes with western-backed SDF northern Syria

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 ــ At least six Islamist rebels were killed on Tuesday during clashes with the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the vicinity of Azaz city in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, local sources reported.  

The SDF forces include the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) along with Arab and Christian groups. Backed by the U.S.-led coalition, the SDF alliance is mainly focused on fighting ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups in northern Syria.

“In a new violation of Syria’s fragile truce, Islamists tried to infiltrate into strongholds of the SDF near al-Qadi farm near Azaz northern Aleppo, but the latter was able to repel the attack,” said Rezan Hiddo, member of the Syrian Democratic Council. 

“At least six Qaeda jihadis were killed in Tuesday’s clashes,” the source said, pointing out “the situation is now under control of the Kurdish-Arab alliance”. 

During the clashes, a top leader from the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front was killed, in addition to the destruction of two Nusra military vehicles, according to the SDF leadership. 

Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, media activist Ali Jaafar said earlier that fierce clashes broke out between the SDF fighters and Nusra Front–supported by the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham, the Usra Battalion and al-Sham Corps, during which heavy weapons were used.

“At least two Islamist rebels were killed and a dozen more wounded amid continued clashes between the two sides in Azaz suburbs,” Jaafar reported, pointing out “none of the parties reported any progress at the expense of the other despite the large military reinforcements received by Islamists”.

Subsequent to a remarkable advance by the Kurdish-Arab alliance in northern Aleppo, Islamist rebels prepared a massive attack on headquarters of the SDF forces in the province. 

Last month, the YPG and SDF allies captured large parts of the Tel Rafaat town in the northern countryside of Aleppo, according to military sources.

This comes as the Turkish army continued shelling Kurdish YPG positions in northern Aleppo. Activists consider Turkey’s bombardment on the Kurdish headquarters as a direct support to Syrian Islamist groups, including Nusra Front–al-Qaeda wing in Syria. 

Reporting by: Hozan Mamo

Source: ARA News

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