BEIRUT A Syrian army progress against Islamic State in northern Syria has opened a new backlink among authorities-held regions of western Syria and the Kurdish-dominated northeast, redrawing the map of the conflict in close proximity to the Turkish border.
The progress, if sustained, could open up a trade lifeline among the northeast, which is property to 70 percent of Syria’s oil and to prosperous farmland, and the west, in which Syria’s production base is situated.
Northern Syria is just one of the most intricate battlefields in the multi-sided Syrian war that erupted in 2011.
The army progress has taken put to the south of an area in which Turkey and its rebel allies are waging their possess, rival marketing campaign, carving out a buffer zone to continue to keep Islamic State and Kurdish groups away from the Turkish border.
Syrian authorities forces have now arrive to the edge of a swathe of territory dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, which has mainly prevented conflict with Damascus but is viewed by Turkey as an extension of the PKK militant team that has waged a a few-10 years insurgency on Turkish territory. The YPG’s critics have accused it of cooperating with Damascus in the Syrian war.
The spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a militia alliance dominated by the YPG, hailed the Syrian army’s progress and ruled out any risk of a clash with them.
“On the trade entrance and on the civilian entrance it is viewed as an superb thing, mainly because now there is … a backlink among the total northern rural area,” spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters.
Now, he mentioned, there was a direct route from the SDF-controlled town of Manbij to the town of Aleppo “via regions controlled by the SDF and regions controlled by the regime forces”.
There was no fast comment from the Syrian military on its latest advances.
“Passions OF CITIZEN”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned the army had captured some two dozen villages from Islamic State, bringing it to the edge of SDF-held regions south of Manbij.
The SDF captured Manbij from Islamic State last calendar year with backing from the U.S.-led alliance against the jihadist team.
Silo mentioned residents of the northeast who had beforehand depended on healthcare care in Aleppo and Damascus would be equipped to do so all over again. “All these matters are in the passions of the citizen,” he mentioned.
The Syrian authorities continue to has footholds in YPG-dominated northeastern Syria in the cities of Qamishli and Hasaka. The YPG also controls section of the town of Aleppo, in which authorities forces and their allies defeated rebels in December.
The YPG varieties the military backbone of a few autonomous regions established up in predominantly Kurdish regions of northern Syria since the onset of the conflict in 2011.
Turkey’s intervention has disrupted the YPG’s plans to backlink up the two autonomous regions of northeastern Syria with the 3rd just one, which is situated in northwestern Syria.
The main Syrian Kurdish groups and their allies want to preserve their autonomy in a new federal method of authorities for Syria. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opposes the strategy.
(Reporting by Tom Perry and Suleiman al-Khalidi Writing by Tom Perry Enhancing by Gareth Jones)