Over a dozen Syrian rebels killed in fighting with Kurdish forces

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters, points at sniper positions of Daesh fighters in western Raqa on July 17, 2017. (AFP)

More than a dozen Syrian rebel fighters have been killed in hit-and-run clashes in a Kurdish-controlled area of northeastern Syria near the border with Turkey, a monitoring group has said.

The Turkish-backed fighters were locked in a second day of fighting on Tuesday with units from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed Syrian coalition of Kurdish and Arab groups, around the village of Ain Daqna.

“Since Monday, 15 fighters from Syrian rebel factions were killed in the clashes and four SDF fighters were wounded, including one in critical condition,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said on Tuesday.

Ain Daqna, in Aleppo province, has been held by the US-backed SDF since February.

It lies in a contested sliver of land between the alliance and Turkish-backed rebels.

In a statement released on Monday, rebels fighting under the banner of “Ahl al-Diyar” said they attacked Ain Daqna because they see the SDF as “occupiers”.

“We promise our people more flash attacks … We will make them [SDF] regret occupying this land and displacing thousands,” the statement said

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