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Over 200 killed in Kurds-Daesh clashes on Turkey-Syria border

Mourners carry the coffins of fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), after they were killed in the fight against Daesh terrorists in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey, during their funeral in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, March 2, 2016. ©AFP

Fighters from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have clashed with the Takfiri Daesh terrorists near the Turkish border over the weekend, leaving a total of 206 people dead, among them civilians.

YPG official Redur Xelil said on Wednesday that 43 of the group’s members lost their lives during the battle, which began on Saturday and ended on Monday, in the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

The YPG have 140 bodies of Daesh elements killed in the fighting, with the Kurdish forces keeping control of the town, Xelil added.

The official said the Tal Abyad confrontation claimed the lives of 23 civilians as well.

The YPG, which is nearly in control of Syria’s entire northern border with Turkey, has been fighting against Daesh. The Kurdish fighters liberated Tal Abyad from the grips of Daesh last year.

Smoke rises over the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad as it is pictured from the Turkish border town of Akcakale on February 27, 2016. ©Reuters

Angered by the rapid advance of Syrian Kurdish fighters in areas near the Turkish frontier, Ankara shelled their positions inside Syria last month.

Ankara fears further expansion by the YPG will foment what it calls separatist sentiment among Turkish Kurds.

The Turkish government regards the YPG and its affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as allies of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

Ankara has been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past few months. However, activists argue that clashes have led to the death of civilians and inflicted major damage to the buildings and infrastructure in the southeastern region of the country.

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