Syrian Kurds Face Off Against Islamists in Battle for Autonomy

It's a long-standing struggle


 Syria's Kurds are battling jihadist fighters in northern Syria in a bid to protect and even extend the long-sought autonomy they have gained since the country's conflict begin, experts say.

This week alone, at least 29 jihadist and Kurdish fighters have been killed in two days of fighting in the Ras al-Ain area of Hasakeh province in northeastern Syria.

The clashes ended with Kurdish forces pushing fighters from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) out of Ras al-Ain and the nearby border crossing with Turkey.