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Raʾs al-ʿAyn: Heavy fighting between PYD and FSA

KURDWATCH, November 23, 2012—On November 19, 2012, armed confrontations between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and units of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) took place in the eastern part of the city of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). An activist from Raʾs al‑ʿAyn told KurdWatch that prior to the fighting, FSA representatives demanded that all PYD flags between Raʾs al‑ʿAyn and al‑Malikiyah (Dêrik) be removed. FSA representatives explained that this was an order from the Turkish government, who supports them. The chief negotiator for the PYD wanted to discuss the matter first. The activist from Raʾs al‑ʿAyn further stated: »At first [on November 8, 2012] approximately five hundred FSA fighters came from Turkey. Around a hundred stayed at the border; the remaining four hundred marched into the city. Later, around two hundred additional fighters came from ar‑Raqqah; they were joined by other people from the area. It isn't really very many, but they are Islamists and they have come to die.« According to his estimates, the PYD has around one thousand armed fighters in the region.

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