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Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters have reached an agreement on a truce, to end days of violence in a northern town

Last modified: 26 Nov 2012 16:49

Syrian rebels and Kurdish fighters have reached an agreement on a truce, to end days of violence in the northern town of Ras al-Ayn near the border with Turkey that opposition forces entered earlier this month.

Rebel fighters welcomed news of the agreement, which was reached on Saturday, with celebratory gunfire and chanted slogans.

Nizzar Abu Akkar, Deputy Commander of the Syrian Ghuraba al-Sham group, the biggest rebel group in Ras al-Ayn, said members of the Democratic Union Party of Kurdistan (PYD) agreed to step aside and not fight anymore against Free Syrian Army rebels in the area.

"The PKK [referring to Kurdistan Worker's Party] and the PYD promised that they are not going to be against our revolution. They promised also that they will not help the regime and its Shabiha, and not to be in the way [between us and the regime]," said Akkar.

The Kurdish group PYD is affiliated with the PKK rebels who are fighting for autonomy in the Kurdish-dominated southeast region of Turkey.

When government forces withdrew from Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria in July, they were quickly replaced by Kurdish PYD fighters who would then battle rebels when they pushed their way into predominantly Kurdish areas.

Since then, Syrian fighters have been fighting with Kurdish fighters to gain control over Ras Al-Ayn.

PYD is believed to support the Syrian government, although they deny it.

Clashes over the past days has left dozens of people killed or wounded in the town as well as dozens others captured by both sides.

According to activists both sides agreed to exchange prisoners and to withdraw their fighters from the town. 

[AP]