News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
In an article yesterday, ANF reports that the YPG has continued to make progress in its push to drive Islamic fighters from Rojava. According to local sources the YPG attacked three bases affiliated with al-Qaeda in the vicinity of Til Koçer, near the Iraqi border. A large number of Islamic fighters were killed and all three points fell to the YPG. The YPG also captured a large number of arms, including a 14.5 mm Anti-aircraft gun, a Dragunov sniper rifle, and a large store of ammunition.
Fighting between YPG and groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda was also reported in the villages of Girhok and Yusfiye in the district of Girkê Legê. Although the Islamists were reported to have taken casualties hard numbers are lacking.
Clashes also took place again in Serêkaniyê, as the YPG launched a major operation codenamed “The Operation of the Martyr and Revolutionary Çekjîn” between 2-3 of September to drive al-Qaeda from a number of points close to the city. At least 20 Islamic fighters were reported killed and 5 of their bodies were recovered by YPG fighters. In the same operation 10 kalashnikovs, 4 BRNO rifles, 3 BKC machine guns, and a 14.5 mm Anti-aircraft gun were captured, along with a large store of anti-aircraft ammunition, hand grenades, small arms ammunition and other military equipment.
Turkey continues to support affiliates of al-Qaeda
Islamic groups affiliated to al-Qaeda continue to have a presence in Til Ebyad (Girê Spî) and other parts of Rojava. Turkey continues to offer military, diplomatic and material support to such groups, ferrying Islamic groups to the border and carrying their wounded by ambulance to hospitals in Turkey. Another report from ANF today gives witness testimony by a former members of El-Nusra in which they attest to retired Turkish soldiers and foreigners training Islamic fighters in Turkey. All of this despite accusations against Islamists that include kidnapping, executions, torture and mass killings. Groups affiliated to al-Qaeda were reported to have kidnapped up to 300 hundred civilians in Kurdish districts of Rakka between August 28-29th, and to have publically executed three Kurdish youths in the center of Til Ebyad on September 1st.
Since heavy fighting broke out again on July 17th, the YPG claims to have killed over a thousand Islamist fighters, including a number of commanders. In the Tirbespiyê region alone they are reported to have killed over 160 Islamic fighters and to have liberated scores of villages around Harik, Hemara, Çelekê, Qasrik, Xirbet, Elbir, Emaraat and Hedad.