Syria Today: Kurdish Militia Defeat Insurgents in North

ENDURING AMERICA – July 19th, 2013 | by Joanna Paraszczuk

In a new, complicating “front” in the Syrian conflict, the Kurdish militia YPG — affiliated to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) — has advanced with a series of victories over insurgents, including the Islamist faction Jabhat al-Nusra.

The Kurdish political arena in Syria is complicated, with some groups supporting the insurgency. The PYD has manoeuvred between the opposition and the regime, however, and tension has been building with the insurgents. This spring the Free Syrian Army and YPG clashed in the town of Efrin, with the FSA imposing a siege on food and supplies.

This week the Kurdish militia, after days of fighting, ejected the insurgents from the Turkish border town of Ras al-Ain. On Thursday, news came through of further victories, including the seizure of a crossing between Turkey and the town of Sere Kaniye.

The PYD also reports “heavy fighting” between its YPG-militia and Jubhat Al Nusra in the village of Celaxa near the oil-rich town of Rimêlan. The movement reports the deaths of six YPG-members in the last two days in the area, and it saysthree YPG fighters and two villages were killed in an ambush in Til Temir.