On April 14, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) occupied a number of government buildings in the northeastern town of al-Qamishli to pressure Damascus into ending a siege on a Kurdish-held district in the northern city of Aleppo.
Members of the SDF’s security forces, Asayish, took over the buildings of the Finance Directorate, the Teachers Syndicate, the Syrian Grain Foundation, the Revolutionary Youth Union, the Cultural Center and the Educational Complex.
A day earlier, the SDF deployed large reinforcements around the government-held part of al-Qamishli, where troops from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces are present.
The SDF reportedly took similar measures around the government-held “security zone” in the heart of the northeastern city of al-Hasakah.
These measures are all meant to pressure Damascus into ending a siege imposed by the SAA on the SDF-held district of Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo city. The siege began a few weeks earlier in response to an alleged attack by militants hiding in the district.
Russia has been in talks with both Damascus and the SDF to find a solution for the current crisis. The SDF’s recent moves, especially in al-Qamishli, will not help the Russian efforts.
The SDF will not likely escalate any further against Damascus. The SAA and Russian forces are both protecting the group’s territory in northern and northeastern Syria from the Turkish military and its proxies.