KurdWatch, January 11, 2016—Between December 21 and 28, 2015 fighters for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the People’s Defense Units (YPG) of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), captured several villages south and west of Tall Abyad. Sukkariya, twelve kilometers west of Tell Abyad as well as Kharibat ar‑Ruzz, fourteen kilometers south of Tall Abyad, and Hajiz al‑Kharatim, twenty kilometers south of Tall Abyad had all been controlled by the Thuwwar ar‑Raqqah brigade. The brigade is itself a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Yet there have been repeated conflicts between its fighters and the YPG [further information]. Before the capture by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the villages of Huwayjat al‑ʿAbd, eight kilometers south of Tall Abyad and ʿAli Bajliya, twenty kilometers south of Tall Abyad, were under the control of the army of tribes of ar‑Raqqah. The army of the tribes of ar‑Raqqah is the armed wing of the assembly of the tribes of ar‑Raqqa.
On December 25, 2015, around three hundred people protested in Tall Abyad against the invasion of the Syrian Democratic Forces. The assembly of the tribes of ar‑Raqqah organized the demonstration.