Kurdish YPG expands power in Syria’s Hasakah

YPG capture a new town from ISIS in Hasakah Province in northeast Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) seized new territory in Hasakah Province in Syria after confrontations Tuesday with ISIS as US-led air strikes targeted the region.

The YPG, backed by US-led air strikes on ISIS positions, had captured the “Taweelat Wakaa” town on the Hasakah-Raqqa highway, according to the Orient news website. They militia have so far captured about 20 towns that were under ISIS control, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Still the number of fighters killed from both sides due to the confrontation is not known.

The Kurdish militia YPG is the military wing of the PYD. The PYD is seen as a Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK. Both aspire to create an independent nation for ethnic Kurds out of parts of Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Iran.

The YPG militias had made significant gains in recent weeks against ISIS after fierce confrontations in the region, cutting an important supply route from territory controlled by the militant group in Iraq. The YPG announced Feb. 27 it had seized the strategically important town of Tel Hamis from ISIS.

The YPG has emerged as the main partner for the U.S.-led alliance fighting ISIS on the ground in Syria. Backed by Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and air strikes, the YPG defeated ISIS in the border town of Kobane in January.

The PYD is recognised as a terrorist organisation by the EU, NATO, as well as Turkey.

TRTWorld and agencies