Sere Kaniye/Ras Al-Ain, Syria− Abu Salmen, the leader of the Islamic armed group of Ahrar al-Sham, was killed during clashes with the Kurdish forces of the YPG in the village of Susik in northern Syria last week.
In an official statement, the media center of the Ahrar al-Sham Movement (HASHA) declared the death of its prominent leader Abu Salem who was fighting side by side with other members of his group against the Kurdish Popular Protection Units (YPG) in the suburbs of Sere kaniye/Ras al-Ain city, where the Islamic group was trying to control the Kurdish village of Susik.
The Ahrar al-Sham Movement (HASHA) is affiliated with the opposition’s Free Syria Army (FSA). However, unlike other battalions of the FSA, HASHA adopts an extremist Islamic agenda.
The killing of HASHA’s leader Abu Salem (or the Prince) followed a series of clashes between the Kurdish YPG forces and members of the al-Qaeda affiliated group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) in several Kurdish villages north Syria.
Asfar Najjar, Tel Halaf, al-Musherfeh and Tuwaimiyah were among the villages were the ISIS-YPG clashes took place over the last few days.
As the YPG forces installed its checkpoints in the majority of the Kurdish areas north and north-east of Syria, the al-Qaeda linked groups and other Islamist forces try to impose their control on the Kurdish bordering areas with Turkey and Iraq. Continuous clashes took place over the last few months between Kurds and Islamists in Syria, resulting in hundreds of casualties among both parties.
On Thursday, the YPG −military wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD)− regained control in the village of al-Safih, near Sere Kaniye city, activists reported.
Sources told ARA News that the YPG used heavy weapons during the clashes with Islamists near Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ain.
“The YPG’s heavy weapons included five tanks, which enabled them to enter different villages and fight against ISIS and HASHA,” an activist in Sere Kaniye told ARA News. “Main strongholds of the Islamic groups were targeted by the YPG’s mortars and heavy guns, later we saw two more tanks arriving in the are to back the YPG forces.”
Sere Kaniye/Ras al-Ain is one the Syrian Kurdish cities that saw considerable violence comparing to other Kurdish areas. The city is located near the Turkish borders vis-a-vis the Turkish town of Ceylan Pinar.
Activists said that during the YPG-Islamists clashes near Sere Kaniye, one of the shells “apparently mistakenly” fell in a civil neighbourhood in the Turkish Ceylan Penar bordering town, “killing one man and injuring a young girl”.
Meanwhile, the pro-PYD new site of ANHA reported the on Tuesday that more than 40 Islamist fighters were killed during the last week’s clashes, adding that dozens were injured. ANHA didn’t reveal any information on possible casulaties among the YPG forces −PYD’s armed wing.
Earlier this week, the YPG has taken over the Islamists-controlled village of Kehok, near Tel Kocher area at the Iraqi borders. The village was dominated by al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters last month.
“Before storming the village, Kerhok was fortified by heavy weapons and a large number of Islamist fighters,” ARA News local reporter said.
On the other hand, the village of Abdi Koi −15 kilometers west of Tel Abyad/Girespi, north Syria− was bombarded by mortars and artillery shelling by Islamic forces on Friday. No casualties reported yet due to the ongoing shelling in the Kurdish Abdi Koi village.
Report by: Ahmad Shiwesh, Hana Muslim
Source: ARA News
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