News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Heavy fighting continued to the west and north of Aleppo yesterday, as various clashes broke out around Azaz, Afrin, Idlib – according to a report in ANF. Azaz fell to a number of groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who took control of the city – some 30 km north of Aleppo – from units of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Many FSA fighters retreating from the city took refuge in the village of Qestel Cindo, currently under the control the YPG. Clashes between al-Qaeda and the YPG around the village are continuing.
The YPG launched a counterattack against ISIS bases near the village of Maarain, supported by a number of armored units. The counterattack destroyed the ISIS bases in the vicinity, and at least one tank and one mobile anti-aircraft unit. According to local sources the ISIS and allied groups suffered numerous casualties, and their wounded were evacuated by ambulance to Azaz.
Fighting also continued near Atma – on the Turkish border between Afrin and Idlib – as ISIS forces attacked YPG positions with heavy machine gun and mortar fire. Fighting for the town has been ongoing since September 24th, and the ISIS’s formed commander – Ömer El Şişani – was killed during clashes in the area last week.
Meanwhile the YPG launched a coordinated operation against al-Qaeda positions in Girkê Legê and Serêkaniyê. The operation in Girkê Legê, which began at 11:00 local time, was in response to an attack on the village of Sera by a combined force of al-Nusra and the ISIS earlier that morning.
In Serêkaniyê the YPG launched two simultaneous operations, beginning around 20:00 and lasting approximately four hours, targeting al-Nusra and ISIS bases around the villages of Mişrafa and Esfer Necar, and the villages of Kişo and Til Xelef. A number of ISIS and al-Nusra positions were captured, while theır wounded members were carried away in Turkish ambulances under the observation of the Turkish military. Turkey is widely known to be supporting such groups in their attacks against the YPG.