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ʿAfrin: Fighting between YPG and FSA

KURWATCH, June 10, 2013—On May 23, 2013, fighting broke out near the Shiite villages of Nubbul and az‑Zahraʾ (twenty kilometers south of ʿAfrin) between the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Several Kurdish battalions were involved in the fighting on the side of the FSA. For more than a year, Nubbul and az‑Zahraʾ have been under an FSA embargo. The FSA accuses the YPG of supplying provisions to the Syrian units and Hizbullah fighters stationed in the villages. According to a KurdWatch informant, the FSA demanded the suspension of this support. After negotiations failed, the YPG allegedly opened fire. An FSA offensive against YPG positions in several Kurdish villages followed on May 24 and 25. Fighting also occurred to the north and east of ʿAfrin on May 31 and June 2, 3, and 6. Several dozen combatants on both sides were killed in the fighting, including the female YPG fighter Salah Muhammad (b. 1991 in Raju, known under the name Sulav). Currently the FSA controls all access roads to ʿAfrin.

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