NE Syria: Islamic State attacks Tal Abyad

Islamic State (IS) extremists launched several attacks on the Syrian Kurdish town of Tal Abyad from both sides of the Turkish border.

QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (K24) – On Saturday, Islamic State (IS) extremists launched several attacks on the Syrian Kurdish town of Tal Abyad (Gire Spi) from both sides of the Turkish border, a Kurdish YPG military official told K24.

Gire Spi is located 102 kilometers (63 miles) east of Kobani. 

Redur Khalil, a spokesperson for the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) stated, "The massive assault targeting [Gire Spi] was carried out in the early morning from two sides: the Turkish border from the north and [the city of] Raqqa from the south."



"The two-sided attacks on the town [Gire Spi] was IS, seeking revenge for their loss of al-Shaddadi town last week,” he said.

Khalil added that from the Turkish side, IS shelled the center of Giri Spi, and from the eastern side, bordering villages of Nastal, Khiwera, and Qanatra.

According to Khalil—reiterating accusations that Turkey supports the extremist group—many IS members and snipers entered from Turkey on Saturday, hiding in a 'cultural center' in the city. K24 was told that US-led coalition airstrikes were targeting the building and surrounding areas since early morning, local time.

"From Raqqa...[IS] terrorists targeted the villages to the east of 'Ain Issa and southern Suluk," Khalil said.

YPG and Syrian Kurdish Asayish [internal security forces] were able to "crush the attacks" and "encircle the attackers," Khalil added, pointing out several dead extremists, though did not reveal a complete number of casualties.

On June 16, 2015, YPG, backed by Syrian rebel allies and the coalition airstrikes seized Gire Spi and surrounding villages. 

On June 30, 2015, IS fighters re-entered Giri Spi's countryside, seizing a sub-district from Kurdish forces.


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Benjamin Kweskin