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Afrin, Aleppo, Syria − The Kurdish city of Afrin and its suburbs saw over the last few days fierce clashes between the Kurdish forces of the YPG and al-Qaeda linked Islamic groups. On Thursday, members of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) reportedly controlled the strategic village of Otma in Afrin suburbs, north of Aleppo, forcing the Kurdish forces of the YPG to withdraw from the area.
ARA News correspondent in Afrin, north of Aleppo, reported that clashes erupted between the Popular Protection Units (YPG)−the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party is Syria (PYD)− and the al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS), in the area between Otma village and town of Jinderis in Afrin’s suburbs.
The clashes resulted in the withdrawal of the Kurdish YPG forces to al-Mukhayam area near Afrin, leaving behind the battlefield in Otma which was taken by the al-Qaeda linked ISIS as a stronghold for the group’s operations in the region.
Sources in the main hospital in Afrin told ARA News that some fighters from the YPG were killed during the “bloody” clashes with ISIS, including one female fighter.
“More than twenty-five wounded members of the YPG were brought to the hospital on Thursday evening,” the sources said. “The hospital called on the residents to donate blood for the wounded Kurdish fighters.”
On the other hand, more than ten Islamist fighters from the ISIS ranks were reportedly killed during the recent clashes in Afrin’s suburbs.
However, the YPG-linked agency of News24 reported on Friday that the YPG has killed “more than 50 fighters of the ISIS group and wounded dozens” during the clashes in Otma and Jinderis.
“Among the killed Islamist fighters was the ISIS prominent leader Emir Abdulkarim al-Matari, who was targeted earlier by the Kurdish forces of the YPG in Aleppo and was killed in the clashes in Afrin’s suburbs,” the YPG linked source reported.
Forces of the al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic state in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) took the Darat Azza area in Afrin suburbs as a stronghold nearly two months ago. According to informed activists, the Wednesday-Thursday clashes in Otma and Jinderis erupted after the ISIS forces received a considerable support from other Islamic groups in Aleppo.
Source: ARA News