LATEST: Video: Claimed Footage of “PYD Headquarters” in Tel Abyad Destroyed By FSA Units
The fighting between the Kurdish militia YPG — affiliated to the political movement PYD — and insurgents escalated further on Sunday, widening in scale and intensity.
The headline incident was YPG’s capture of an “Emir”, Abu Musab, in the town of Tal Abyad on the Turkish border.
Abu Musab — alternatively said to be part of the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham or of the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra — was released hours later. He was exchanged for 400 Kurdish civilians, apparently taken in retaliation for his detention.
Tal Abyad is just west of Ras al-Ain, seized by the Kurdish militia last week after days of clashes with insurgents, including Jabhat al-Nusra.
Fighting was reported on Sunday in towns and villages throughout Syrian Kurdistan, extending from Jarablos in the northwest to Hasakeh Province in the northeast.
Homs-based activist Abu Rami al-Homsi shows the extensive damage to the interior of the Khalid Bin Walid tomb in Homs, which has suffered from regime shelling. The tomb is an important Islamic landmark.
This footage, posted on Monday, purports to show houses in the northern Syrian village of Tel Abyad, destroyed by Free Syrian Army battalions, who claimed the homes were the headquarters of the PYD, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party.
Amid recent gains of territory by the Kurdish militia YPG — linked to the political movement PYD — Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has said Ankara will not tolerate the creation of a “de facto” Syrian Kurdish entity on its borders.
Arinc did not spell out what Turkey would do prevent any such entity, but said it would act carefully and in a cool-headed manner.
Crowds gather at the vital Bustan al-Qasr checkpoint in Aleppo. closed after renewed gunfire on Monday.
The checkpoint has become important for residents from regime-controlled areas. Amid an insurgent siege on those areas, the residents cross into insurgent-held sections for food and supplies.
A wounded man is carried from the scene:
Ahrar al-Sham have announced another offensive, involving various brigades, to cut regime supply lines from Hama to Aleppo.
The effort is an attempt to reinforce a surge by insurgents on areas held by the Syrian military in Aleppo.
Following reports that Khan Al Assal, west of Aleppo, had been taken by insurgents, here is claimed footage of the village after its capture:
Khan al Asal is very close — just few kilometers distant — from regime-held West Aleppo. Taking control of the village is a large gain for the insurgency,
This “media mujahideen” style video shows insurgents advancing on Khan al-Asal on Saturday:
There have been allegations from both sides that chemical weapons were used in the Khan al Asal area on March 19, 2013. Following allegations by Moscow that Russian experts had “strong evidence” that insurgents had used home-made sarin gas in the area — a claim that insurgents and activists strongly refuted — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he would allow inspectors from the United Nations to visit the village.
Earlier, we reported claimed footage of the Nur Al-Din Zanki Brigade hitting a regime tank with a HJ-8. Here is another video of the same brigade, posted on Monday, showing off several anti-tank missile systems, including what appears to be a Russian-made Konkurs.
This video, posted on Sunday, shows women and young children sheltering from fighting in the village of Khan al-Asal, in Aleppo Province.
The Governor of Aleppo Province, Mohammad Wahid Aqqad, has claimed the distribution of 150 tons of vegetables to “affected citizens”, including those living in temporary housing centers.
During a meeting of the Relief Subcommittee in Aleppo on Sunday, Aqqad asserted that convoys carrying necessary supplies like flour, vegetables, food products, and fuel are still arriving in the city, with gasoline has been provided to more than 60,000 vehicles within the past few days.
Aqqad said 15 new bread production facilities will be operating soon to help provide bread to citizens, and that work is underway to reactivate a gas plant to supply cylinders.
Insurgents have imposed a siege on regime-held parts of Syria’s largest city, hoping to weaken the Syrian military forces, which has led to serious shortages of food and supplies.
A graphic video has been posted on YouTube of men trying to assist the injured amidst the bloody bodies of those killed by the regime’s airstrike on Ariha in Idlib Province.
Footage posted on Monday shows the destruction of the interior and exterior of the Khalid Al Walid tomb in Homs, following weeks of heavy shelling by regime forces.
The tomb is an important Islamic landmark
Claimed footage posted on Monday purports to show the Nur al-Din Zanki Brigade using a Chinese-made HJ-8 wire-guided anti-tank missile system. The brigade refer to the missile as a “red arrow”.
More videos of the same brigade using the missiles surfaced in June including this:
State news agency SANA continues the regime’s emphasis on a military operation in Adra in Damascus Province on Sunday, claiming “a large number of terrorists from Jabhat al-Nusra, some of them were foreigners”, were “eliminated”.
State TV, showing footage of the bodies, said 50 insurgents had been slain.
The reports said rifles, RPG launchers, machine guns, grenades, and ammunition. They claimed Jordanian and Egyptian passports were found on fighters with the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra and the “Islam Brigade” [Liwa al-Islam].
The Local Coordination Committees reports 187 people were killed on Sunday, including 96 in Damascus and its suburbs, 28 in Idlib Province, 21 in Aleppo Province, 13 in Baniyas, and 12 in Hama Province.
The count includes about 50 insurgents killed in an ambush by Syrian forces in Adra. About 20 died in shelling in Ariha in Idlib Province, and the 13 killed in Baniyas were reportedly from a single family.
The Violations Documentation Center reports that 66,888 people have been slain since the start of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 133 since Sunday. Of these, 50,949 were civilians, a rise of 88 from yesterday.