ISIS Beheads Nine Kurdish Fighters as Battle Rages for Town

Kurds Struggle to Slow ISIS Advance

Fighting continues to rage over the Kurdish border town of Ayn al-Arab in northern Syria today, with ISIS continuing its advance and engaging in close-quarters combat with Kurdish militias.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that nine of the Kurdish fighters were captured by ISIS and beheaded, and images emerged claiming to show the heads of display in nearby Jarablous.

ISIS has been pushing toward Ayn al-Arab for weeks now, seizing large numbers of Kurdish villages along the way. They reportedly seized another village today. The fight has attracted a lot of Kurdish militia fighters from Syria and Turkey trying to retain control of the city.

South of Ayn al-Arab, ISIS fighters have also reportedly surrounded the tomb of Suleyman Shah, an ancestor of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. By treaty, the tomb is considered Turkish soil, and Turkey has threatened to send troops to defend it. With ISIS advancing on Ayn al-Arab this could quickly escalate into a major ground conflict between the Turkish military and ISIS.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.