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Aleppo: Islamists take control in Shaykh Maqsud

KURDWATCH, May 15, 2015 – On May 2, 2015, fifteen armed oppositional groups announced the founding of an alliance against the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Aleppo. Among those represented in the alliance, which is called »Labayki ukhtah« (»We will help you, sister«), are the Islamist Jabhat an‑Nusra and the Jabhat ash‑Shamiyah. Prior to this, YPG fighters had insulted a veiled woman at a checkpoint and later asked her to vacate her home. The incident occurred in the Kurdish district of Shaykh Maqsud, which was until then solely under YPG control. On May 4,, the alliance signed a joint declaration with the People’s Defense Units. The latter pledged to surrender those responsible for the attack against the woman to a juridical committee, which is to be based in the office of the Jabhat ash‑Schamiyah. In addition, it was agreed that Shaykh Maqsud will henceforth be treated like all other districts in Aleppo and will not be part of the PYD’s transitional administration. Islamist groups can thus operate freely there. An exchange of prisoners from both sides was also agreed upon.

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