Syrian Kurds capture town from al-Qaeda-linked militants
Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have captured a town in the northeastern part of the country near the Iraqi border after days of combat with al-Qaeda-linked militants.
The Kurdish group, known as the People’s Protection Units, says its fighters killed about 50 armed militants in the battle for Tal Barak.
The group’s units are dominated by members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, Syria’s most powerful Kurdish group.
The town is located between the main Kurdish cities of Qamishli and Hasakeh. The insurgents were from the al-Qaeda-linked group, the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Most of the Kurdish regions of northern Syria have been the scene of clashes with militants for the past months. Since the end of July, al-Qaeda-linked militants have kidnapped hundreds of Kurds.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies – namely Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are supporting militants operating inside Syria.
A British defense study published last September said that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in foreign-backed militancy.