Fighting between the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) has picked up around Aleppo over the past several days, and are now reportedly discussing a ceasefire after the FSA attacked several Kurdish neighborhoods and kidnapped over 100 Kurds.
The PKK has attacked several FSA military bases over the weekend, which they say is retaliation for the attacks and the kidnappings, a move which threatens to bring Syria’s Kurdish minority into the growing civil war.
Among those captured in the FSA raids was a Kurdish man named Khaled Bahjat Hamdu, a 37 year old man from the attacked village of Hayan. According to rebel-linked Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Hamdu has “died from wounds caused by torture” while in custody.
Syria’s significant Kurdish minority lives mostly along the Turkish and Iraqi borders, and many of them also live in enclaves around the major city of Aleppo. Though the Kurds have tried to stay out of the Syrian Civil War for the most part, several rebel factions have questioned where their loyalties lie, particularly as the PKK is in open warfare with Turkey, which is backing the FSA.