Kurdish fighters of the YPG bidding farewell to fellow fighters in Tel Abyad. Photo: ARA News
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TEL ABYAD – The Islamic State group (ISIS) killed more than 10 people in the town of Tel Abyad in Syria’s northeastern Raqqa province with a car bomb on Wednesday, local source reported.
The security police in the town said in total ten people were killed, including two security guards and more than ten civilians were injured in front of the Mala Gel (People’s House), a local institution affiliated to the Kurdish-led self-administration. The injured civilians were brought to the local hospital.
The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces took the town from ISIS in June 2015.
Since then Tel Abyad has been administrated by a multiethnic administration of Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen, lead by one Kurdish female and one Arab male politician.
Nevertheless, the town still faces an ISIS threat and local sleeper cells, officials told ARA News. Since ISIS failed to take the town back in a major attack that lasted for four days in February 2016, the group has started to use car bombs and assassinations instead.
“We [Arabs] don’t support the YPG 100 percent, but maybe 90 percent. The rest of the 10 percent needs some time,” said Hamdan al-Abad (51), the co-head of the city council of Tel Abyad.
“Thanks to the YPG and YPJ, Tel Abyad was liberated,” al-Abad told ARA News.
According to ISIS, any Arab who accepts joining the Kurdish-led self-administration in northern Syria is considered an apostate.
“They [ISIS] see us all as kafirs [apostates] and we are a legal target for them,” he added.
Mustafa al-Ahmed (59), an Arab civilian from Tel Abyad, said Arabs do not support ISIS and did not gain anything from ISIS.
“One man was hanged on a cross after being beheaded, how could we accept this kind of system? In the West, you would take your children to the zoo or swimming pool, but here we could only take our children to see blood, I wish you could have seen this by your own eyes,” he told ARA News.
Aymen Jawad Al Tamimi, a research fellow at the Middle East Forum–a US think-tank, said: “ISIS considers Arabs residing Kurdish-held areas as PKK agents. The attack was not unprecedented. It’s an example of what ISIS calls an amiliya amniya [security operation].”
“It can mean a literal internal security operation, for example, but it is also used in insurgency terminology to refer to an operation conducted in the heart of enemy territory. So, if ISIS jihadis were to assassinate someone with a bomb in central Baghdad, for instance, that would also be an amiliya amniya,” Tamimi told ARA News.
“It’s not a problem for ISIS to bomb Sunni Arab areas, just because it’s partially administrated by Kurds and considered enemy territory,” the source added.
On 13 October 2015, ISIS assassinated Imam Ammar Al Darwish in Tel Abyad city because he worked with the local administration.
“They may not view their targets as Muslims, but as apostates,” Tamimi added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News