By Halit Suleyman
ALEPPO, Syria (AA) - Fighting in northern Syria saw the YPG terror group seize a dozen villages on the west bank of the Euphrates River from Daesh on Wednesday, local sources said.
The YPG, which is the Syrian affiliate of the Turkey-based PKK, took settlements between the river and the strategically important town of Manbij, Turkmen sources said on condition of anonymity due to security concerns.
Supported by U.S. airstrikes, the YPG took the villages of Abu Kalkal, Mashi, Munihal, Sandalliyya, Sekkeviyya, Garrah, Halula, Khirbet al-Arus, Jabal ash Shash and Rumaylat.
On the other side of the river, they also seized Tal Autman and Karakozak and the surrounding high ground, as well as Qal'at Najm castle near the Tishrin dam.
Earlier this year, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said the YPG -- the armed wing of the PYD -- had been involved in ethnic cleansing, arbitrary arrests and forced conscription in Syria. In a 2015 report, Amnesty International said the group had wrecked the northern region where Arabs and Turkmen civilians live and forcefully displaced residents.
The power vacuum in Syria paved the way for terrorist structures like the YPG.
*Anadolu Agency correspondent Ahmet Sait Akcay contributed to this report from Ankara.