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SEPTEMBER 2020

Damascus ‘Demilitarizing’ Sheikh Maqsud because YPG/SDF Accepts Fatah Halab Militants into Their Ranks in Aleppo – Reports

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The Syrian government reportedly gave YPG forces time to vacate Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood of Aleppo until the end of December.

Damascus ‘Demilitarizing’ Sheikh Maqsud because YPG/SDF Accepts Fatah Halab Militants into Their Ranks in Aleppo – Reports

The Kurdish forces will have to hand over control of their enclave in Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo to the Syrian government, the Kurdish Rudaw media network reported, citing a military analyst allegedly close to the Syrian president, Ali Maqsud.

According to Maqsud, after the liberation of the eastern part of Aleppo, the government will take control of the whole city and prompt the People’s Protection Units (YPG) to hand over their positions in Aleppo to the Syrian army.

As the analyst told Rudaw, the Syrian authorities held a series of meetings with Kurdish leaders and gave them time to vacate the city until the end of December.

However, this information has not been officially confirmed by the YPG or the Syrian government.

Currently, Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood is the only area of Aleppo, which is not controlled by Damascus. It is a predominantly Kurdish area, which is under the control and protection of the YPG (alsk known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the mainstream media). As the World Food Programme (WFP) reported last week, more than 10,000 civilians also stay in the neighborhood now.

Reportedly, the YPG have accepted Fatah Halab militants into their Ranks in Aleppo and it became the main reason of such a step of the Syrian government.

According to reports, the first group of 250 fighters of Fatah Halab, who earlier broke through or found an asylum in Sheikh Maqsoud, has already joined to a local group of the YPG/SDF. In addition, currently, fighters of other militant groups from eastern Aleppo, who expressed a desire to join the YPG/SDF, are being tested in order to be accepted. According to reports, in total, 11 Fatah Halab groups of different sizes, who chose to stay in their hometown, have arrived to the Kurdish neighborhood.

The YPG in Aleppo has chosen a way to replenish their ranks with fighters, who oppose the Syrian government. It’s clear that the Syrian military sees the YPG/SDF new members as a threat to the civilian population of Aleppo.

Sporadic clashes have occured between the Syrian Armed Forces and the YPG during the six-year war, but they largely avoided sustained confrontation.

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