Syrian al-Qaeda Fighters Take 200 Kurds Hostage

Kurdish Militia Pushes Secular Rebels to Take a Position

Fresh off of a “call to arms” by the Committees for the Protection on the Kurdish People (YPG), Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda linked rebel factions have taken 200 Kurdish civilians hostage.

According to rebel mouthpiece the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Kurdish civilians were from the Aleppo villages of Tall Aren and Tall Hassel. Most Kurdish militia fighting with the rebels occurs well east of the Aleppo Province.

The YPG has been contesting control of key Kurdish towns in the northeast with al-Qaeda factions, and retook the border town of Rus al-Ayn from them earlier in the month. The YPG has complained that while they are fighting, the secular Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels aren’t taking a position on the clashes.

Mohammed Mustafa, a Kurdish member of the rebel Syrian National Coalition (SNC), criticized al-Nusra for its tactics, saying they are leaving Homs Province and towns around Damascus to fall back to the Assad government while focusing on fighting Kurds.

This perhaps isn’t surprising, however, as West Kurdistan, the northeastern portion of Syria which is overwhelmingly Kurdish, is also where much of the nation’s oil wealth lies, and rebel factions have been able, at times, to sell oil from the area.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.