Rebel-Kurd clashes kill 11 in north Syria: Monitor
Nearly a dozen Syrian rebels have been killed in hit-and-run clashes with a U.S.-backed alliance dominated by Kurdish forces in the country’s north, a monitoring group said on July 18.
Rebels were locked in their second day of fighting on July 18 with units from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) around the village of Ain Daqna.
“The fighting [on July 17] killed 11 fighters from Syrian rebel factions and wounded four SDF fighters,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Ain Daqna, in Aleppo province, has been held by the U.S.-backed SDF since February.
It lies in a contested sliver of land between the alliance and Turkish-backed rebels.
In a statement released July 17, rebels fighting under the banner of “Ahl al-Diyar” said they attacked Ain Daqna because they see the SDF as “occupiers.”
“We promise our people more flash attacks... We will make them [SDF] regret occupying this land and displacing thousands,” the statement said.
Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with anti-government protests, but it has since evolved into a complex civil war drawing in regional powers.
Turkey has backed rebels in Syria’s north to take on both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as well as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which make up the bulk of the SDF.
Ankara considers the YPG a terrorist group and the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Rights groups including Amnesty International have accused the YPG of razing villages and displacing residents in northern Syria.