According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) fighters have kidnapped 51 Kurdish civilians in Aleppo Province, including nine children.
The Kurds were taken during three days of AQI fighting against the Kurdish towns of Minbej and Jarablus, and it is unclear where the abductees have been taken.
Though Kurdish militias have ousted AQI and other Islamist factions from more or less all of the northeastern region along the Iraq border, Kurdish towns and villages in Aleppo Province, where Islamist rebels control much of the countryside, remain under constant threat.
This points to the civil war continuing to boil down into three distinct territories, the Kurdish northeast, the rebel north-northwest, and the government held south. In all cases, those on the losing sides will remain targets of ethnic and sectarian cleansing.