During the evening hours, the 154th Brigade of the Syrian Arab Army Republican Guard – supported by Hezbollah and various Shiite paramilitaries – captured Kiffin village in northern Aleppo from Islamist rebels while Kurdish troops of the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) seized several kilometers of road along the strategic Gazianstep-Aleppo including the town of Deir Jamal. Reportedly, Kurdish fighters and Syrian troops have set up a joint checkpoint near Kiffin as to avoid skirmishes between these two factions.
Over the past weeks, Islamist rebel forces in northern Aleppo have lost tens of villages and more concerning for the Syrian opposition, insurgents have also had their main supply line to Aleppo city severed by advancing government troops. As to combat the YPG and SAA in northern Aleppo, Islamist rebel forces have initiated a coalition called ‘Jaish al-Halab’, which consists of Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, Jaysh Al-Islam, and Jaysh Al-Mujahiddeen.
Not long ago, a YPG official announced that Kurdish forces would launch a large-scale offensive in northern Aleppo as to connect Afrin with Kobane and Hasakah. Although no official treaties have been signed between Kurdish forces and government troops in the countryside of Aleppo, a non-aggression pact could be signed in the near future as both parties face common enemies – namely, ISIS and Islamist rebel groups in northern Aleppo.