NE Syria: Kurdish forces liberate two villages

Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced the liberation of two villages near the Kurdish city of Afrin from the affiliates of al-Qaeda group north Syria.

AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (K24) – On Thursday, the Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced the liberation of two villages from the hands of al-Qaeda near the Kurdish city of Afrin in northern Syria.

YPG forces clashed with the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, Ahrar ash-Sham and Sultan Murad Brigade in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo. The result was the liberation of the Kurdish villages of al-Ziyara and Khrebkah.

A K24 reporter in Afrin said that the YPG forced the militants of Nusra Front and its allies to evacuate their strongholds in both villages.

YPG Press Office said in a statement released on Friday, “At least six Nusra militants were killed, five were wounded in the clashes, and two Kurdish fighters lost their lives.”

“The clashes lasted for seven hours leading to the expulsion of Nusra and its insurgents from the villages,” the statement added.

The main objective for the YPG is to free people from the terrorists, according to the statement.

“The military campaign against the terrorists [affiliates of al-Qaeda] was a response to the call of civilians in the villages of al-Ziyara and Khrebka, who were complaining of the ill-treatment by the Nusra Front,” the statement read.

The YPG Press Office also released a video on Friday showing boxes of weapons and equipment left behind by armed groups.

The video displays many equipment and flags belonging to Sultan Murad Brigade with the Turkish flag posted on the boxes.

Notably, the Kurdish forces campaign, north of Aleppo, coincides with the Russian-Syrian intensified assault on rebel-held areas. These assaults have prompted tens of thousands of Syrians to seek refuge across the border in Turkey.


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany 

YPG gains against the al-Qaeda affiliates: the sticker on the box reads "Directorate of Religious Affairs, Izmir, Turkey". Afrin, Syria, February  5, 2016. Photo by YPG Press Office