Newspaper: Iraqi Kurds join battle against Turkish forces in Syria’s Afrin

Fighters from the Democratic Forces of Syria gather around the al-Khatoniyah lake area after they took control of it from Islamic State militants, near al Houl town in Hasaka province, Syria November 14, 2015. A U.S.-backed Syrian rebel alliance on Friday captured the town of al Houl in Hasaka province, which had been held by Islamic State militants, a spokesman for the Kurdish fighters, part of the grouping, said. It was the first significant advance against IS by the Democratic Forces of Syria, which was formed last month. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Baghdad ( Iraqi Kurds are joining their Syrian peers in their fight against Turkish troops in Syria’s Afrin district, a newspaper has claimed, quoting an Islamist politician in Iraqi Kurdistan.

London-based The New Arab quoted an official at Iraqi Kurdistan’s Islamic Group saying that tens of young people headed to Afrin to fight as volunteers on the side of Kurdish troops there, adding that some have already been killed in battles.

“Kurdish youths sneaked through the borders with Syria from Dahuk…to areas controlled by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), then to Afrin…the region’s government has to stop that,” the politician was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

“The volunteering wave is supported by nationalist and communist societies in the region,” he added

Turkish officials said recently that their country’s forces killed hundreds of Kurdish fighters in Syria’s Afrin since an operation was launched on the 20th of the current month against People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), both designated by Ankara as terrorist groups.

The U.S. provides military support to SDF, something which Ankara has repeatedly lambasted as it associates the SDF with the PKK, with which Ankara engaged in armed encounters for decades.

Turkey has been waging airstrikes against PKK locations in northern Iraq over the past years.



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