Kurdish YPG fighters are seen near a security checkpoint in Sere Kaniye countryside of Hasakah province, northeastern Syria. Photo: ARA News
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ALEPPO – Tensions mounted between the Kurds and the Syrian regime, after Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) took positions from the armed opposition groups in Aleppo city, northern Syria.
Abdelaziz Yunis, a senior commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) –that include the YPG– told ARA News that the Assad regime wants to show itself as a strong force in Aleppo.
“By attempting to take over Kurdish-held areas, the regime wants to show the public opinion that it has won the Aleppo battle,” he said.
“It seems Assad regime and its Shiite militias have forgotten that YPG is the most effective force on ground and they cannot ignore this fact,” Yunis said.
“Moreover, Syrian regime troops want to encourage their supporters that they defeated the so-called opposition factions,” the Kurdish official told ARA News.
In the last few months there have been brief clashes between Kurdish fighters and pro-regime forces in the northeastern cities of Hasakah and Qamishli. The Assad regime is against any plan by the Syrian Kurds to form a federal region in northern Syria.
“We have checkpoints which are close to the regime positions in Aleppo city, particularly in Al Ashrafiye as well in the Bani Zaid neighbourhoods, where violence has been escalating recently,” Kurdish officer Sharvan Efrin told local reporters.
“Some of the regime soldiers wanted our forces to leave their positions in Aleppo city, but this didn’t happen. We will keep our positions. We don’t know when fighting will erupt between us [Kurds and regime], but in this case our fight against mercenary [Islamist] groups will turn into a fight with regime forces,” he said.
“We will never leave our positions which had been liberated by blood,” he stated.
Talal Silo, the official spokesman for the SDF, confirmed that tensions have recently increased between the pro-regime troops and Kurdish forces in Aleppo. “After SDF liberated a part of the Bani Zaid neighbourhood, the regime forces tried to take advantage of these steps and make more advances against our forces there.”
“Don’t try to test our forces and provoke us,” Silo told the regime.
Reporting by: Jan Mohammed
Source: ARA News