News International (Pakistan), Aug 1 2013
BEIRUT – Jihadi groups linked to Al-Qaeda have taken hostage around 200 Kurdish civilians after violent clashes with Kurdish fighters in two villages of eastern Syria, according to a monitoring group in the UK. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said:
Fighters of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have seized control of Tal Aren village in Aleppo province and are laying siege to another village nearby, Tal Hassel. They have taken hostage around 200 civilians from the inhabitants of the two villages.On Tuesday, Syria’s main Kurdish militia, the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG), issued a call to arms to battle Jihadis, after a Kurdish leader was killed following weeks of clashes between the minority group and radical Islamists. A YPG statement said:
It is clear that FSA battalions are coordinating with Jihadi groups. Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS have become one side with the FSA in attacking the Kurdish people. Despite our repeated calls to the National Coalition and the FSA command, to date these parties have failed to take a clear position. We call on the Kurdish people to step forward. Anyone fit to bear arms should join the ranks of the YPG and face the assaults of these armed groups.Isa Huso, a prominent Kurdish politician, was assassinated as he left his house in the city of Qamishli, a pro-Kurdish news agency reported. That raised to new heights Kurdish resentment against the main opposition National Coalition and FSA. Mohammed Mustafa, a Kurdish politician and member of the SNC, said the call to arms came as no surprise. He told AFP via the Internet:
These obscurantist groups are not focusing on Homs or Damascus province, where there are open battles against the regime. Instead, they are assaulting areas that have fallen out of regime control and attacking the Kurds. Opponents accuse the Kurds of being pro-regime, when in fact it is the Jihadis who are helping the regime and all those who want to see Syria’s future destroyed.