Urfa, Turkey – On Sunday, the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) regained control of five villages in the southern countryside of al-Hasakah province, northeastern Syria, after fierce clashes with the Islamic State (IS/ISIL), an al-Qaeda offshoot.
On Saturday night, the YPG forces entered several villages east and north of the town of Tel Hamis in a campaign launched under the banner “Loyalty to Martyrs”, sources close to the YPG told ARA News.
“The YPG fighters seized control of the villages of Rahiyeh, Hajiyeh, Kabib and Harikeh as well as Abu Khazaf and surrounding farms,” the YPG-linked source reported. “The YPG fighters killed 16 IS extremists during the operations and seized ammunitions from the former IS strongholds in the villages near Tel Hamis.”
These villages have been under IS control for months. The town of Tel Hemis is still deemed a main stronghold of IS militant fighters in the southern countryside of Hasakah province.
These developments followed the announcement of an alliance between the Kurdish fighters of the YPG and opposition fighters of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in several Kurdish-majority areas, including Kobane and Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in northern Syria. The joint military chamber of Burkan al-Furat was announced by the YPG and the FSA last Wednesday, and was mainly aimed to combat IS militants in northern Syria.
The joint chamber launched attacks against the headquarters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL) in Qara Qozak area near Kobane on Friday, killing at least 15 IS militants.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, quoting activists, reported that the YPG attacks against the IS-held villages near Tel Hamis (south of the city of Qamishli in Hasakah province) claimed the lives of at least 19 civilians, as local activists accused the YPG forces of targeting civilians in the area. However, the YPG denied the accusations stating that its operations solely targeted IS strongholds and were focused on “liberating” those villages from the militants.
Reporting by: Ridwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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