Top YPG commander assassinated in north Syria

November 11, 2016

Ali Boutan, who reportedly headed the YPG’s special forces, was killed in a roadside bombing near the Syrian-Turkish border.

A top commander in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has been assassinated in mysterious circumstances near the Syrian-Turkish border, according to local media outlets.

On Wednesday, the activist Hasakeh Press reported that an improvised explosive device blast killed Ali Boutan, who the outlet called a “YPG leader,” and two of his bodyguards as they drove along the road linking the border city of Qamishli with the nearby town of Qahtaniyeh (Tirbespiye in Kurdish).

A number of other local outlets and activists, including pro-YPG ones, wrote similar accounts of the incident, without going into details on the possible perpetrators of the attack or Ali Boutan’s role in YPG.

The YPG, for its part, issued a terse statement Wednesday that a taxi laden with explosives detonated on the Qamishli-Qahtaniyeh road at approximately 5:30 p.m., killing “two fighters.”

However, the Kurdish fighting force did not identify the victims of the blast.

Less than a day after the IED explosion, Turkey’s Anadolu News trumpeted the assassination, saying that Ali Boutan, also known Haji Kurkhan, was the “leader of the YPG special forces.”

“Boutan was responsible for sending [PKK] fighters to Turkey to conduct terror operations,” the report further claimed.

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