Daesh (ISIS) Sunday repelled an advance by U.S.-backed forces on one of its main bastions in northern Syria, seizing back territory it had previously lost, Syrian activists and the extremist group said.The group said its fighters infiltrated villages and mountains near the Daesh-held town of Manbij that were seized last month by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-dominated group aided by U.S. special forces that also includes Arab fighters.
Islamic State militants on Saturday pushed back U.S.-backed forces trying to advance into their stronghold of Manbij for the first time since a major offensive to capture the city and cut off the militants’ main strategic access route to Turkey, a monitoring group and Kurdish sources said.
The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), comprised of Kurdish and Arab fighters and backed by the air power of a U.S.-led coalition to fight Islamic State and aided by U.S. special forces, have been involved in the month-long Manbij operation aimed to seal off their last stretch of Syrian-Turkish frontier.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the militants had evicted SDF troops from a main district south of the city which has been the scene of heavy fighting after suicide bombers blew up an explosive-laden car.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (the Kurdish YPG and some Arab militias, supported by US, French and German special forces) are advancing towards the city center of Manij, an ISIS-controlled logstic hub, located in the Aleppo province.
Each side also accuses the other of conspiring with its enemies in a struggle with an ethnic dimension pitting groups drawn from Syria’s Arab majority against one that emerged in 2011 with the stated aim of defending the Kurdish minority.
“There is a deepening divide between us,” the politburo chief of the Jabha Shamiya, one of the biggest FSA rebel groups in the Aleppo area. “If there is no quick political solution between the revolutionaries and the Kurds, it is heading towards escalation.”
YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said his group did not aim to spark a battle with FSA groups. But he added: “If they want a war, they will certainly lose.”
The Islamic State group launched a counter attack against fighters trying to capture the Syrian city of Manbij on Monday, inflicting heavy casualties on the U.S.-backed forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the militants said.
The monitor said the ultra-hard line militants won back three villages south of the besieged city in a surprise assault against fighters from the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces, in which at least 28 SDF fighters were killed.
Kurdistan is divided between 4 countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It has been the scene of several regional conflicts over the past 25 years. This has led to a complex political and military situation in each country where several political parties are defending Kurdish people rights, and are controlling their own military groups. The conflicts are also widely influenced by the two main regional powers, Turkey and Iran, which all have their client factions. The article and the map are not an exhaustive list of all groups involved, but aim at explaining who are the main Kurdish actors in each country and what their relationship is
For two years the strategic town of Shaddadi, in northeastern Syria, was a stronghold of the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. In February, 5,000 fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Kurdish and Arab militias, encircled the city and battled the terrorists for 10 days. It took fierce fighting, supported by air strikes from the US-led coalition, and was slow progress until finally the SDF retook Shaddadi on February 19, liberating its residents from the yoke of the jihadists.
In the current state of affairs, Kurds and other forces in Rojava are determining how the Syrian system should be through the military achievements and the policy they put forward where they are present. It is now being discussed about a federal system in Syria in which Kurds in Federal Northern Syria will sustain an autonomous organisation and the system they have been building.
Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized control of a key gas facility and main financial resource for the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah, military sources confirmed on Monday.
The SDF regained control of the Jibisa gas facility, located about 12km east of Shaddadi city in southern Hasakah.
The facility had been used by ISIS for nearly two years as a source to fund its operations.