The US-backed militant group ‘Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki’ has announced creation of a humanitarian corridor to the Sheikh Maqsood neigborhood of Aleppo city controlled by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The announcements came amid reports that the Syria army closed a crossing between Sheikh Maqsood and the government-cotrolled areas of Aleppo city after YPG units satarted to shell the Castello Highway, heading to western Aleppo.
The Castello Highway is the only government supply line to the controlled areas in the provincial capital. YPG forces started to shell it and threated to close it for government supply convoys on August 22.
In turn, newly appeared friends of the YPG from Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki became widely known around the world in July 2016 due to beheading a kid captured in the Handarat Refugee Camp north of Aleppo city. Fortunately for the YPG there is no comfirmation of the cooperation between it and Harakat Nour al-Din al-Zenki.
Meanwhile, the situation is deteorating in the predominantly Arab city of Hasakah where the YPG and the Kurdish police, Asayish, [both are loyal to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)] are attacking the pro-government militia called “National Defense Forces.”
On August 22, various sources reported (again) that the forces loyal to the PYD set up a ceasefire agreement with the Syrian government froces in Hasakah. The meeting was mediated by the Russians and took place at the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria’s Latakia province. According to the reported agreement, the Syrian Arab Army was expected to maintain control of the Kawkab Base and the Interior Ministry had to be in charge for the Security box, police stations and the government institutions and the PYD forces had to withraw from the points that they have captured from August 18. In turn, the National Defense Forces had to withdraw from check points along the road to Tell Barak.
But on August 23, the PYD forces continued to attack the National Defense Forces positions in Souq al-Hal and at the postal office in Hasakah. If the clashes continue, it will clearly show the limitations of Moscow’s ability to influence the attitude of the PYD and its forces in eastern Syria. If such incidents repeat on a constant basis, it will likely toughen the Russian stance towards the Kurdish role in the post war Syria.