Another round of deadly fighting has been reported today in Syria’s northeastern Hassakah Province, where members of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), an al-Qaeda affiliate, battled members of a Kurdish militia.
Rebels familiar with the situation put the death toll at nearly 50, with 13 Kurds and 35 ISI fighters slain in the past two days, with no signs that the fighting is any closer to being resolved.
The ISI and other Islamist factions have sought to take over Kurdish towns in the region, particularly those along the Turkish border or those near key oil facilities, and the attacks have sparked an exodus of Kurdish civilians into neighboring Iraq, along with a threatened intervention by Iraqi Kurdistan.
The fighting has also led to increased militarization among Kurdish militias, which before the war had relatively limited influence in the Syrian region, and has now mobilized large amounts of the population to resist the al-Qaeda takeover.
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