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Jihadists Expelled from Flashpoint Kurdish Syrian Town

Battles raged for two days at Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border
Jihadists Expelled from Flashpoint Kurdish Syrian Town

Kurdish fighters have expelled jihadists from the Syrian flashpoint frontier town of Ras al-Ain near Turkey, an opposition watchdog said Wednesday, adding that only the border crossing remains under the extremists' control, according to AFP.


Kurdish fighters "have taken near-total control of Ras al-Ain after fierce battles that have raged since [Tuesday] evening, pitting [Kurds] against the Nusra Front, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and other groups", reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


Ras al-Ain is home to a majority Kurdish population and is of strategic importance given its location close to Turkey.


Its fighters are trying to ensure neither the regime of President Bashar Assad nor the opposition takes control of its areas.


The clashes between Kurdish fighters and jihadists broke out after the Nusra Front attacked a convoy of Kurdish women fighters, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.


Nine jihadists and two Kurdish fighters have been killed since battles erupted in Ras al-Ain Tuesday, said the Observatory.


Activists in Ras al-Ain said members of the jihadist groups had taken advantage of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which began last week, to try to impose their extreme version of Islam.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer 


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