MESOP : MEET PYD/YPG’S INTERESTS WITH BASHAR AL ASSAD ? – Castello Road: common interest for Regime and Kurdish forces

WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – 2016-07-11 18:35:03 – Writing by Ammar Bakkour – (Zaman Al Wasl)- Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)’s interests met with Syrian regime interests in fighting Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions in the northern side of Aleppo city.  They ignored what might happen to their presence inside Aleppo city if the international political calculations took another turn. YPG insists on antagonizing the local population and on supporting regime forces in an attempt to control Castello road. The only road from which humanitarian aid is delivered and in this, YPG encircles civilians in a siege on the rebels-controlled neighborhoods in the eastern side of Aleppo.

YPG is holed up in major-populated Kurdish neighborhood al-Sheikh Maqsood in Aleppo city. YPG observes Castello road from al-Sheikh Maqsood due to its closeness to Castello and due to the fact it is relatively a higher point.Also, YPG targets Castello from al-Sheikh Maqsood with shells and machine-guns despite Castello being the only humanitarian corridor for the civilians and humanitarian aids. YPG performs this in conjunction with regime forces and Iranian militias attempt to advance from al-Malah farms situated in the northern side of Castello amid ongoing air bombings.

Activists documented YPG targeting civilians’ cars on the road and documented warplanes targeting civilians’ car as well.

Regime forces helped by intensive air bombings and YPG support were able to advance from al-Malah farms recently and they observed Castello road with thermal rockets. This led Fateh Haleb operation rood to announce the road a military one warning civilians and NGOs of crossing the road.According to military leaders, YPG support to regime forces contributed to dispersing of FSA force and forced FSA to fight on the two fronts on Castello road to secure the road for civilians and to foil regime forces’ repeated attempts since two years to perform a siege on eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city in order to capture the strategic road.

YPG interests in their fight beside regime forces to capture Castello road lie in opening a direct road for YPG from al-Sheikh Maqsood towards Efrin Canton, the major-Kurdish populated area. The direct road will pass through Castello and then through regime-captured areas in northern Aleppo countryside in 2016 when it connected the road from Aleppo central prison to Nubul and Zahra towns.

According to analysts, by capturing Castello, regime forces seek to perform a siege on eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo in addition to opening a direct road from inside of Aleppo city towards Nubul and Zahraa, pro-regime areas passing through Castello road. By this, regime forces will benefit from cutting short the distance to half an hour instead of forces spending 3 hours from north of Aleppo to the east and south to reach Aleppo western neighborhoods.However, Peoples’ Democratic Party PYD policy YPG units supporting the regime forces as it happened in Aleppo northern countryside might be beneficial in the short term but damaging for the party on the long run, according to some.

The reason is that the major population of Aleppo city are Arabs and this policy might create enmity between Arabs and Kurds resident in al-Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood. if the rebel factions were able to expel regime forces and capture Aleppo city later on, and even if the battles lingered, PYD politicians will not guarantee regime turning them down after having used YPG in achieving interest of regime against rebels from Aleppo population. (Translation by Rana Abdul)