Illustration: iStock
Illustration: iStock

Twenty-five rebels were killed in fighting on Sunday between Turkish-backed insurgent factions vying for influence in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, a war monitor said.

Turkish troops and allied insurgent groups seized control of the Afrin region from Kurdish forces in March after a two-month air and ground offensive.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fighting in several districts had left 25 dead and 27 wounded after breaking out on Saturday.

Turkish troops stationed in the town imposed a curfew on civilians from Saturday evening in an effort to avoid violence, the Observatory said.

The fighting pitted the majority of the pro-Ankara rebels against a force of about 200 fighters who were accused of “disobeying” Turkish forces and “committing abuses,” the monitor said.

The main alliance of Turkish-backed insurgents in Afrin wrote on Twitter that current operations were aimed at “pursuing outlaw gangs.”

Since Turkish troops and pro-Ankara Arab insurgents captured the town from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the United Nations and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have reported widespread abuses.

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse