DAESH repels advance on Manbij

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.

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Islamic State repels U.S.-backed forces in Manbij

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.

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Political and military factions in Kurdistan | MAP

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

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The Middle East’s alphabet soup of Kurds, explained | Washington Post

In the U.S., the call to “arm the Kurds” has become a standard refrain of the presidential election campaign, with little recognition of the dizzying array of Kurdish factions operating in the midst of the region’s crises. Not all are working in tandem — some are in direct opposition to the other. What follows is a rough digest of the alphabet soup of prominent Kurdish groups in the Middle East.

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