ISIS militants dress as Kurdish fighters to avoid U.S.-led strikes

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Kurdish fighters of the Peshmerga walking across Jalawla, northern Iraq. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – With the decline of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in Kobane in northern Syria, under blows of the Kurdish forces and supported by the U.S.-led coalition’s airstrikes, tension increased in the ranks of the radical group and the allied Arab tribes in the areas surrounding the city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi), Raqqa province, and northeastern Syria, anti-IS sources told ARA News. 

In order to protect their positions against the coalition’s strikes, the IS militants are reportedly building sand berms on the outskirts of Tel Abyad, as well as the villages of Khan, Sileeb, Qaran and Ahmadi west of the city. 

Abu Mohammed, a resident of westernTel Abyad, told ARA News that the IS militants resort to camouflage operations to avoid the coalition’s strikes in the western countryside, pointing out that the extremists are currently dressing as the Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in these villages. 

The source also said that the group’s purpose of dressing as the YPG “is to be able to pursue supporters of Raqqa Rebels Brigade and the Kurdish forces” –who are in conflict with the radical group in northern Syria. 

Commenting on these developments, Syria journalist Jiwan Soz stated to ARA News that the liberation of Tel Abyad from IS militants “is just a matter of time”.

“However, the Kurdish forces should clarify and demarcate the geographical limits they have in the fight against IS terrorists,” he said. 

“The Kurdish fighters must learn from their past mistakes, and they have to remember that they’ve signed agreements with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) regarding potential areas of control.” 

In late July of 2013, the Islamic State and allied Islamist armed factions expelled thousands of Kurdish civilians from the city of Tel Abyad under threat of death to those who do not leave the city, eyewitness from the city told ARA News at the time.

 

Reporting by: Redwan Bezar

Source: ARA News

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