Turkish Border in Syria Is Waiting for Big Battle

Turkish Border in Syria Is Waiting for Big Battle
Sat Jun 13, 2015 16:43:43

Three sides including Kurdish YPG, small Rebel groups and ISIS terrorist engage in fighting around Turkish border.

The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said it began an advance towards an ISIS-held town at the Turkish border on Saturday, thrusting deeper into the terrorist’s stronghold of Raqqa province.

Redur Xelil, the YPG spokesman, told Reuters the YPG and smaller “Syrian Arab rebel groups” fighting alongside it had begun the move towards Tel Abyad after encircling the ISIS-held town of Suluk 20 km to the southeast.

The advance raises the prospect of a big battle at the Turkish border between the well-organized YPG militia and ISIS in Tel Abyad which is important to ISIS as the nearest border town to its de facto capital of Raqqa city,Daily Stars reported.

Turkey says thousands of people have already fled across its border to escape fighting between the YPG and ISIS near Tel Abyad.

Syrian refugees wait for transportation after crossing into Turkey from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province, on June 10, 2015. More than 2,000 refugees crossed from Syria into Turkey on Wednesday, fleeing clashes pitting Kurdish fighters against the ISIS, according a Turkish official.

The YPG has made a determined push into Raqqa province from neighboring Hassakeh where, with the help of the U.S.-led alliance, it has driven ISIS from wide areas of territory since early May.

"The move towards Tel Abyad from the east began today after the completion of the Suluk blockade," Xelil said. "Many of the Daesh militants have fled [Suluk], apart from a group of suicide attackers inside the town and the booby traps, so we are very cautious about entering the town center," he added via Skype.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based organization related to Syria opposition that tracks the war in syria, said the YPG fighters were now half-way between Suluk and Tel Abyad.

For the YPG, dislodging ISIS from Tel Abyad would help them to link up Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria in Hassakeh province and Kobani.

Xelil said: "The help of the alliance forces has been very effective and accurate in its target selection."

Meanwhile, A Syrian rebel alliance has pushed ISIS terrorists further away from one of its key supply routes from neighboring Turkey, activists said Saturday.

The rebels ousted ISIS from the village of Al-Bal, which it captured Tuesday, threatening the Bab al-Salama border crossing, just 10 kilometers away, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The village's recapture late on Friday came after heavy fighting which killed 14 rebels and 15 ISIS terrorist, Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Further south, the two sides battled for the town of Marea, which lies on the road between the crossing and the rebel-held eastern sector of the main northern city of Aleppo.

"The ultimate goal for ISIS is to cut off this crossing," said Abdel Rahman.

Activists said the rebels were fighting to defend Marea, while simultaneously launching their own attacks on ISIS positions in the area.

"ISIS is trying to surround the town by occupying the villages all around it," said Mamun Abu Omar, head of a local pro-rebel press agency.

The rebel alliance is fighting both ISIS and government forces in Aleppo province, which is one of the most complex battlegrounds of Syria's multi-front civil war.

In some areas, it is supported by fighters of ISIS' jihadi rival, Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

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