Sunday, July 21, 2013

Syrian Kurdish forces freed a local leader linked to al Qaeda as part of an agreed ceasefire to end fierce fighting with Islamist rebels in the northern Syrian town of Tel Abyad on Sunday

    Sunday, July 21, 2013   No comments

In return, Islamist rebels have promised to release hundreds of Kurds taken hostage as collateral from the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), known as Abu Musaab.

The sporadic fighting in the northern Syrian border region over the past five days has signaled a growing power struggle as Islamists work to cement control of rebel zones while Kurds assert their autonomy in mostly Kurdish parts of the region.

The tensions highlight how the two-year insurgency against 43 years of Assad family rule is spinning off into strife within his opponents' ranks, running the risk of creating regionalized conflicts that could destabilize neighboring countries.

Pro-opposition activists said that Turkish military forces had been reinforced on Turkey's side of the frontier near Tel Abyad on Sunday, but the Turkish army could not be reached for comment. Turkish forces exchanged fire with Syrian Kurdish fighters in another border region earlier this week.



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