Attack on Turkish-Backed Opposition Fighters in Syria Kills 13 Militants

Members of the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take up positions at Dhiban town in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, 09 September 2023. (EPA)
Members of the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take up positions at Dhiban town in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, 09 September 2023. (EPA)
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Attack on Turkish-Backed Opposition Fighters in Syria Kills 13 Militants

Members of the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take up positions at Dhiban town in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, 09 September 2023. (EPA)
Members of the Kurdish-led, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) take up positions at Dhiban town in Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, 09 September 2023. (EPA)

A Kurdish-led force attacked Turkish-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria on Monday, killing at least 13 of the militants, activists said.

The opposition activists blamed the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces for carrying out the assault, though the US-backed group did not claim responsibility.

Türkiye says Syria’s main Kurdish militia is allied with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, that has led an insurgency against Türkiye since 1984 that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Türkiye since 2016 has conducted three major incursions into northern Syria to clear areas under Kurdish control and create a buffer zone near its border. Since then, the two groups have routinely clashed, while Türkiye has also conducted airstrikes and drone attacks on targets in Kurdish-controlled areas.

According to opposition activists, SDF forces tried to infiltrate the opposition-controlled city of Tal Battal in northern Aleppo province, attacking positions belonging to Turkish-backed militants and the al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al Sham.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based opposition war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the death toll was at 14. According to the Observatory, mines exploded during the attack that took place at dawn.

The SDF has been the main US ally in Syria in the campaign against the ISIS group that was defeated on the battlefield in the war-torn country in March 2019.

The US has some 900 troops in eastern Syria backing SDF forces in targeting ISIS sleeper cells.



Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
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Hamas’ Armed Wing Says Israeli Airstrike Killed Two Hostages in Rafah

12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)
12 June 2024, Palestinian Territories, Khan Younis: Tents for displaced Palestinians at al-Mawasi area in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. (Omar Ashtawy/APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa)

Hamas' armed wing al-Qassam Brigades said on Friday that two Israeli hostages held in Gaza were killed in an Israeli airstrike on Rafah a few days ago.

The group, in a video posted on its Telegram channel, did not release the names of those said to have been killed or provide any evidence.

The Israeli government "does not want your hostages to return, except in coffins," the al-Qassam Brigades statement said.

Israel rescued four hostages held by Hamas in a hostage-freeing operation in central Gaza's al-Nuseirat on June 8. The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said more than 250 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

The war in Gaza erupted when Hamas fighters stormed southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel has responded with a military assault on the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to the Gaza health ministry. Israel says its campaign is intended to eliminate Hamas as a threat and free the remaining hostages.