In the city of Ras al-Ain in the Kurdish area of northern Syria, fighting rages between several radical groups who crossed the border from Turkey and joined battle against Kurdish militia defending the city. In order to conserve his military power, Assad withdrew his troops from Kurdish areas of Syria allowing the Kurds to be more or less autonomous. The Kurds themselves are divided on whether to support or fight against the Assad regime and are staying more or less neutral while defending control of the area they occupy.
Attacks on Ras al-Ain have caused many residents to flee the city. The jihadists were from the Al-Nusra Front and Ghuraba al-Sham. A resident said that: "the fighting became more intense in the evening after Kurdish fighters received reinforcements to try to stop the fiercest rebel assault ever since insurgents first arrived in the city" Al-Nusra Front is listed by the US as a terrorist organization a designation that is opposed by Syrian rebels since the group are active and effective fighters against Assad.
A Kurdish activist, living in Ras al-Kain said that the jihadists crossed the nearby Turkish border with three tanks and entered the city. He claimed the Kurdish militia seized one tank.The activist noted: “The advancing rebels did not use the tanks to fight the regime. Instead, they used them to shell Ras al-Ain." One wonders how jihadists are able to get tanks in Turkey without the Turkish government being aware of what is happening. Kurdish analysts suspect that Turkey may be using the jihadists to wage their own battle against Kurds
. Many worry about the consequences of a continuing battle between Kurds and jihadists. Prominent Kurdish journalist and activist Massoud Akko said: “Should the fight morph into a struggle between Kurds and Arabs... Syria and the revolt [against Assad] are both in real danger.”