Are Kurds aiding Assad in Aleppo offensive?

As thousands of civilians flee the Assad regime's advance on eastern Aleppo, rebel groups are charging that the Kurdish-led People's Protection Units (YPG) are collaborating in the offensive. The YPG and rebels aligned with the Free Syrian Army have clashed several times in Aleppo, mostly around the Kurdish-controlled Sheikh Maqsoud enclave. In recent days, as the pro-regime forces press their advance on the east, Kurdish fighters have taken over several areas abandoned by the rebels. Photos and video showing the regime flag and the yellow YPG banner raised on top of a building were circulated on social media, suggesting that the Kurdish forces and Syrian national army were in fact fighting together. The YPG, however, said the images were faked, and denied any cooperation with the Syrian army.

There have been persistent accusations that the YPG has collaborated with regime forces. Both Syria's main opposition National Coalition and the Assad regime oppose Kurdish demands for a federal state and full autonomy for Kurdish areas. (Middle East Eye, Nov. 30)

  1. Aleppo: civil resistance divided from Kurds

    This is extremely painful. Syrian journalist and activist Malak Chabkoun has a piece in Al Jazeera Dec. 8 with the inspiring title: "The spirit of the revolution in Syria persists, even as Assad's forces advance." She portrays the civil resistance that began the revolution back in 2011 as still alive even in besieged and bombarded Aleppo, still coordinating weekly Firday slogans via social media, still demanding isqat al-nidham (downfall of the regime), still building popular power from below amid the carnage. 

    But she lists among the enemy forces trying to crush this movement not only the Assad regime, Russian air power, Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah—put also the Kurdish-led Democratic Union Party (PYD)…

  2. Kurdish commander on fall of Aleppo

    A YPG commander writing under the name Polat Can has an analysis of the fall of Aleppo on Kurdish Question. It condemns the regime bombardment of the city, but expends more ink criticizing the rebel leadership as authoritarian and beholden to Turkey.