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Syrian Kurds Win Support In Battle With Al-Qaeda Forces

Syrian Kurdish forces are winning local support in Ras al-Ain by beating back jihadist groups.
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RAS AL-AIN — On July 17, Kurdish fighters expelled jihadist groups from the mixed city of Ras al-Ain, known in Kurdish as Serikaniye. Afterward, the fighting spread between al-Qaeda and the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in several areas of northern Syria. The fighting with radical Islamists increased the support for the YPG, despite its closeness to the Kurdish rebels from Turkey.

The YPG claims it is independent, but it is close to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Nevertheless, the YPG sees itself as neutral, although pictures of imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan are seen everywhere in YPG camps, and YPG fighters say they follow Ocalan’s philosophy.

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