Syria Spotlight: More Border-Region Clashes Between ISIS, FSA & Kurdish YPG
Both Kurdish sources and pro-jihad outlets close to the Islamic State of Iraq and Ash Sham report ongoing clashes between the Kurdish YPG, Free Syrian Army fighters and ISIS in and around villages in the Syria-Turkey border region, particularly around the border town of Azaz.
Exact details of the fighting remain unclear, though reports from both sides give dates and locations of clashes.
Kavkaz Center, a pro-jihad site in the Caucasus, which reports on ISIS and the Chechen-led Jaish Al Muhajireen Wal Ansar, says that the fighting began after ISIS ordered the Free Syrian Army’s Northern Storm brigade to leave Azaz.
It is worth noting that sources differ as to which Kurdish groups are involved in the fighting. Kurdish sources say it is the Syrian Kurdish YPG, while Jihadi sources accuse the Turkish PKK of involvement.
Jihadi sources say that the clashes resumed on Wednesday, after ISIS fighters attacked and captured most of the roadblocks and fortifications from “the PKK” and Northern Storm and forcing them back to the Bab As Salam border crossing on the Turkish frontier.
The sources say that the clashes started after Northern Storm entered into an alliance with Kurdish PKK militias who are fighting against the Islamists in the region.
When the 48-hour ultimatum that ISIS imposed on Northern Storm in Azaz expired, ISIS started an offensive, blocking Northern Storm’s command center in Ma’rrin north of Azaz and occupied Kurdish villages along the Turkish border.
Sources said that ISIS captured armored vehicles from Northern Storm and that a number of Kurdish fighters were killed in the fighting.
According to Kurdish sources, the fighting appears to have spilled over into Turkish Kurdistan.
The Kurdish PUK Media reports that on Thursday evening, ISIS launched an offensive against the village of Jindires, north of Afrin, where YPG fighters are stationed. The attack resulted in violent clashes between the two sides — including with machine guns — until the early hours of Friday, when ISIS retreated to Atmeh.
Kurdish sources also reported that after around 50 members of the Northern Storm Brigade went to the village of Qastal Jindu north of Azaz, ISIS demanded that the YPG hand them over. When the YPG refused, violent clashes ensued, killing three Kurdish fighters.
A vehicle captured by ISIS from Northern Storm:
— الربيع الجهادي (@zhoof21) October 4, 2013