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.

 

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Prime time for Ramadan on Gulf fashion calendar

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa

Egyptian fuel helps restart Gaza power station

Rights groups say Morocco protest leader 'severely beaten' during arrest

5 killed in Mogadishu car bomb attack

UN experts urge Egypt to halt executions after 'flawed trials'

Qatar emir congratulates newly-appointed Saudi crown prince

Kushner hails 'productive' Palestine-Israel talks

Macron says removing Assad no longer priority in Syria

Turkey sends first aid ship to isolated ally Qatar

Iraq PM says IS admitting defeat in Mosul

Egypt delivers fuel to ease Gaza electricity shortage

Saudi Arabia named after ruling dynasty

Turkey detains catering boss after army food poisoning

Israel says will unleash 'unimaginable power' in future Lebanon war

Brussels nail bomber identified as Moroccan

Saudi stock market bullish on new heir

Lebanon's Salame to be new UN Libya envoy

New Saudi heir is king's agent of change

Turkish President accused of influencing courts

Mohammed bin Salman named Saudi crown prince

Algeria leader drops Panama Papers libel suit vs Le Monde

Morocco detains three as Rif protests continue