Heavy Fighting as al-Qaeda Attacks Kurdish Villages in Syria

Syrian Kurds Continue to Flee Into Neighboring Iraq

More heavy fighting was reported today in West Kurdistan, where al-Qaeda fighters attacked three Kurdish villages near the border town of Ras al-Ayn, a vital border crossing the Islamists have repeatedly tried to capture.

The fighters, from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, engaged in fierce battles with Syrian Kurdish faction YPG, which has organized militias around the region, insisting every able-bodied Kurdish man has to resist the Islamist takeover.

As the fighting picks up, yet more Kurdish women and children are crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, where UN officials yesterday estimated that some 30,000 had already fled in just the past few days.

The fight over West Kurdistan has become a sort of war-within-a-war for Syria, as the Kurds had attempted to stay neutral until rebel factions showed up in their oil-rich territory trying to claim it as a “liberated” region under their control.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.