Large numbers of Arab fighters have defected from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa, which is an amalgamation of units of Kurdish and Arab fighters loyal to the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The Arab units refused to fight against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army groups (FSA) currently participating in the “Operation Euphrates Shield” offensive aimed at ousting ISIS and other terrorist groups from northern Syria.
Liwa al-Tahrir on Friday announced that it was leaving the PYD-affiliated groups because of policies adopted by the groups and called for remodeling the coalition force. They described the SDF as being fully dominated by the PYD with other components of the coalition sidelined.
Following the statement, the PYD militias attacked Liwa al-Tahrir units near the village of Suluk southeast of Tell Abyad in the province of Raqqa.
At least 50 Liwa al-Tahrir militants have arrived in the town of Jarabulus where they joined the Turkish-led forces in northern Syria.
The PYD dispatched units to take over checkpoints under Liwa Ahrar Raqqa control in Ayn Issa after tensions had run high between the PYD and Arab units.
Liwa Ahrar Raqqa, which also defected from the SDF, said they had ousted the PYD militias from five villages around Ayn Issa – Qadriyah, Hamdanat, Kardushan, Duraybiyah and Abo Tabat after a series of firefights in the area. They also said they captured eight PYD militants and seized weapons and ammunition.
Activists in the area reported that Liwa Ahrar Raqqa have raised the flag of the Syrian revolution in northern rural Raqqa and targeted a military vehicle belonging to the PYD on Aleppo-Hasaka highway.
Liwa Ahrar Raqqa and Liwa al-Tahrir are two of nearly 25 units that comprise the SDF.
Meanwhile, the FSA groups participating in “Operation Euphrates Shield” offensive have captured a large area along the Turkish border from ISIS and PYD militants. The FSA has recently ousted ISIS from the villages of Qandara, Shaiena, Swaida Shamali and Swaida Junubi west of the border town of Jarablos.
The FSA said they will continue to advance west of Jarablos until they reach the FSA-held town of Alraie, adding that their next target will be the ISIS-held town of Albab northeast of Aleppo. (Source: Masar News Nerwork)