YPG, Assad regime: A secret agreement!

The Covert Agreement

YPG which is backed by the US has reached an agreement with the Syrian regime to permit reinforcements to be able to reach Afrin. This is essential to maintain their war with Turkey. YPG is completely dependent on Assad regime to reach Afrin while Damascus needs the help of YPG to get oil and grain from the areas under Kurdish control.

Amongst the many options to get reinforcements to Afrin the fundamental way is through the regime. Although pro-regime forces which are backed by Russia and Iran have been at loggerheads and have fought each other in other parts of Syria and Damascus has always opposed demands for autonomy by YPG but in Afrin their shared interest and a common enemy have brought them to the negotiating table and they have been able to reach an agreement. Damascus is thus helping the YPG with humanitarian support in a covert manner. YPG is seen as a terrorist outfit by Turkish government had launched a major offensive against it in Afrin. YPG has thus sought support from the Syrian regime to send forces and help YPG fight Turkish army. Latter may not be plausible but Assad government is definitely giving men and supplies via the territory under its control. Ironically, the supplies are essential to the sustenance of YPG to defeat the Turkish army and thus in a way further prolong the already endless conflict.

Olive Branch

The Turkish advance on YPG in Afrin is termed as the Operation Olive Branch by Turkey. YPG is a critical ground component of war for the US to fight the ISIS in Syria and it has thus always backed the group in many other areas under Kurdish control along the Turkish border. Turkey, although a US-NATO ally sees YPG as a security threat and has launched an all-out offensive against it on Syrian soils in Afrin. Russia is said to give the green signal to Turkey to carry out the attack as it withdrew its observers from the Afrin in 2017. It is the absence of US on the ground with YPG which has made the group vulnerable to Turkish attacks. Thus, the tale of twists between the Syrian regime and Kurdish groups has taken another sharp turn this time steered by YPG. The significance of YPG in the whole scene can be gauged from the fact that almost the entire Syrian border with Turkey is under its control. Afrin, however, lies separated from other major chunks of areas which are also under the control of Kurds by a 100 km-wide zone which is controlled by the Turkish military and other allies and militias. Damascus and YPG have thus avoided direct confrontation and have also fought together against common enemies. Nevertheless, the Syrian regime has allowed YPG to bring people to Afrin, there is a wide gap between the two on the future prospects of northeastern Syria.

Afrin

Syrian Kurds are ultimately fighting for the vision for federal autonomy which is juxtaposed to the determination of the regime to regain control of entire Syria. Both sides have also allowed the other to maintain the foothold in their respective territories like Syrian regime controls the airport of YPG-held Qamishli and at Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo, as the city under the regime, YPG forces are allowed to patrol the city. Kurds from Sheikh Maqsoud and other areas have also gone to Afrin in support of YPG.

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