Syria

Fighting Between Kurds and Islamist Rebels in Syria Spreads

Turf war part of a larger conflict

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(Reuters)—Kurdish fighters have seized control of a Syrian town on the border with Turkey and are battling Islamist rebel groups linked to al Qaeda for control of oilfields in the northeast of the country.

The fighting is further evidence that the conflict between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's forces that has engulfed Syria since early 2011 has splintered into turf wars that have little to do with ousting him.

The capture of Ras al-Ain by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Syrian Kurdish party with links to Kurdish militants in Turkey, rang alarm bells in Ankara.