News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
Forces of the YPG/YPJ and the Burkan el-Firat have succeeded in liberating the Qereqozaq Bridge over the Euphrates, according to an article from ANHA and carried in Özgür Gündem. The bridge, which had been controlled by ISIS, is located 35 km to the south-west of Kobanê.
The operation to capture the bridge began in the early evening (18:00) of March 11th and was brought was to a successful conclusion yesterday, March 14th.
During the first day of the operation the YPG/YPJ and Burkan El-Firat fighters moved into surrounding residential areas and were able to liberate the village of Bîr Hiso, 1 km to the east of the bridge.
On the second day ISIS gangs counter-attacked points which had been liberated arounding the bridge using heavy weapons and violent clashes broke out between ISIS gangs and YPG units advancing toward the Euphrates. ISIS also attempted to send a truck bomb toward YPG positions but it was destroyed before it could reach its target and exploded in proximity to ISIS fighters, resulting in the death of more than 12 ISIS members.
ISIS, which had suffered heavy losses in the first two days of the operation, attempted to bring reinforcements from Minbic and Sirîn along the Turkish border. Forces affiliated with the YPG and the Burkan el-Firat undertook an operation to prevent this, moving into the villages of greater and lesser Bîr Hiso and the location which formerly housed the Süleyman Şah tomb.
Warplanes from the international coalition also struck ISIS bases close to the Qereqozaq Bridge, killing many. Following these strikes the resistance forces were able to completely liberate the lesser Bîr Hiso and the area around the bridge, taking full control of the bridge itself yesterday.
ISIS forces retreating from the area attempted to blow up the bridge at around 17:00 yesterday evening but were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Qereqozaq Bridge is around 1.5 km long and 15 m wide and occupies a strategic crossing along the Euphrates connecting the cities of Kobanê and Minbic. During its attack on Kobanê ISIS had used the bridge to bring up reinforcements, heavy weapons and ammunition.