News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF/QAMIŞLO) The People’s Defense Units (YPG) are preparing to launch an operation in the village of Til Meruf, where a joint-attack was launched by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), the al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar al-Sham against YPG positions early this morning. The attack followed a written statement released by the YPG on Wednesday that it would not launch anymore offensive operations. However the YPG also reserved to itself the right to legitimate self-defense.
The YPG has called on residents of the area to evacuate ahead of the operation. The attack on the village, in the district of Tirbespiyê, was launched the ISIS, al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham at 3:00 AM this morning. As the al-Qaeda affiliated gangs entered the village they destroyed the Tomb of Sheik Xeznewi as well as the four-minaret central mosque, set houses on fire and kidnapped civilians. According t local sources 15 residents, including 4 women, were taken prisoner and brought to Til Hemis. As of this evening smoke could still be seen rising from the village.
The village of Til Meruf is 20 km from Qamişlo and 18 km from Til Hemis, currently under the control of the gangs. The village is composed of 450 households and its population is entirely Kurdish. YPG forces has established a protective perimeter around the village to prevent further civilian casualties.
The ISIS has confirmed the destruction of the Tomb of Sheik Xeznewi on Twitter. The YPG Central Command has said that no YPG units were in the village at the time of the attack, but that the YPG could not remain silent in face of such aggression. Pointing to a threat on the part of certain groups a couple of days ago to ‘burn down Qamişlo,’ a YPG statement said “this does not consist only of talk, they are making their intentions clear.” The statement went on to say that such “gangs did not understand any other language” and promised a severe response: “We declare this openly: we will make Til Meruf a grave for those enemies and their partners that are playing with the security of the people and attacking their lands.”
Earlier this evening the YPG released a second statement requesting that residents of Til Meruf evacuate ahead of a planned operation to clean Til Meruf of all gang elements.