Yousif Babe Aziz appeared in a video footage released by ISIS. Photo from ISIS video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region--The brother of the dead Kurdish commander Abu Layla was taken captive by the Islamic State as he tried to reach the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Manbij to join the fight against the terrorist group in the city.
Yousif Babe Aziz, a 42-year old father of five, disappeared eight days ago and has now re-appeared dressed in an orange jumpsuit in video footage released by ISIS.
After his brother Abu Layla was wounded last month in the operation to retake Manbij from the Islamic State and later died of his injuries, Aziz decided to take up arms and join the fight.
Abu Layla was one of founders of the SDF and the Northern Sun Brigade. His outstanding leadership helped bring victory in the battle for Kobani.
One of Aziz’s relatives told news agencies that they did not know Aziz had been captured by ISIS until they saw the footage ISIS released last night.
“Yousif put Abu Layla’s rifle on his shoulder and decided to go to Manbij to fight ISIS. But he disappeared once he left Kobani towards Manbij. We looked for him a lot, but could not do anything,” said Jalal Ahmed, a cousin of Aziz.
YPG forces are participating in an offensive to rout ISIS from the Manbij pocket, along the Syria-Turkey border west of the Euphrates. It was in this offensive that Abu Layla was martyred. The offensive has been renamed in his honour.