First Published: 2013-08-12

 

Rebels team up with Nusra jihadists against Syria Kurds

 

Syria rebel fighters kidnap 13 Kurds in northern province of Aleppo, turning them over to jihadist fighters already holding 250 abducted Kurds.

 

Middle East Online

War within a war

BEIRUT - Syrian rebel fighters kidnapped 13 Kurds in the northern province of Aleppo on Sunday, turning them over to jihadist fighters already holding 250 abducted Kurds, an NGO said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the 13 were snatched at a roadblock in the Sfeira region of Aleppo and passed them on to Al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), another Al-Qaeda-linked group operating in Syria, have abducted more than 250 Syrian Kurds since the end of July.

The majority were taken hostage as the two groups overran two Kurdish villages, Tall Aren and Tall Hassel, at the end of July.

Syria's Kurds have been battling jihadist fighters for months in northern and northeastern Syria, where the minority hopes to establish an autonomous zone.

The clashes have intensified since mid-July, when Kurdish fighters pushed jihadists out of the village of Ras al-Ain and its adjacent border crossing with Turkey.

The fighting has left dozens of dead on both sides, according to the Britain-based Observatory.

In Tall Aren and Tall Hassel, at least 26 Kurds, including 10 fighters, were killed by jihadist groups between July 29 and August 5, according to the monitoring group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground.

Syria's Kurds have incurred the wrath of many rebel fighters, jihadists and more moderate factions, for failing to openly side with the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Instead, the minority has focused on protecting its areas and strengthening autonomous rule.

Ties between the jihadist groups and other rebel organisations are also complex.

In some areas, rebel groups work alongside the jihadist groups, but in others, including in Idlib province of the north, tensions between the two sides have erupted into open, deadly conflict.

Rebel groups largely welcomed the arrival of jihadist organisations like Nusra, which includes foreign fighters among its ranks, in the early days of their armed uprising against the regime that has cost more than 100,000 lives since March 2011.

But initial enthusiasm for the supplies and fighting skills of the groups has waned amid accusations of abuses by members of Nusra and ISIS.

 

Jeddah meeting bears no fruit on Yemen conflict

Tunisia parliament to vote on cabinet proposal

Turkey shells Kurdish fighters in Syria after warning

Oil prices fall on Saudi doubt on output cut

French court suspends burkini ban

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian in occupied West Bank

11 Turkish police officers killed in Cizre bomb attack claimed by PKK

Tears as evacuation starts in Syria's Daraya

Turkey PM denies Syria operation singling out Kurds

Kerry, Lavrov meet for talks on Syria

Kuwait arrests govt employee promoting IS online

Kerry in Saudi for talks on regional conflicts

UN Syria envoy expects 'impact' from Kerry-Lavrov meeting

Iraq parliament votes to impeach defense minister

Russia says will cooperate in Syria chemical attacks probe

Iraq forces take key town south of Mosul

Hamas to leave name off ballot in Palestinian elections

Iranian navy in 'unsafe' intercept of US destroyer

Three wounded in PKK attack on Turkey opposition chief's convoy

Erdogan to inaugurate Istanbul's third Bosphorus bridge

China to train Syrian troops

Turkey reinforces ground forces across border into Syria

Turkey says 'every right' to intervene if Kurds fail to withdraw

UN rights chief urges international probe of Yemen violations

Tunisia unity government to remain unchanged

Raped teen who took own life finally gets justice in Morocco

Syria rebels backed by Turkey tanks 'seize' Jarabulus

Libya's presidential council to present new cabinet

Syria regime, Kurds blast Turkish incursion

Biden: Washington told Kurds not to cross Euphrates

Israeli court shuns plea to unchain Palestinian hunger striker

Saudi police foil mosque suicide bombing

Kerry to meet Russia's Lavrov in Geneva on Friday

Kurdish forces in Syria prime target for Turkey

Drone strike kills 2 Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Iran yet to decide on OPEC limits

Iraq forces advance south of Mosul

Muslim women say swimsuit uproar is 'absurd'

Gaza animals leave 'world's worst' zoo

Hasakeh: key flashpoint for Syria regime, Kurds

Kerry heads to Saudi on Yemen peace push

British woman killed in Australian stabbing

Hajj stoning to be shortened after deadly stampede

Turkey launches operation to clear Syria border town from IS

Israel raids West Bank arms factories