BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:30 P.M.) – According to a statement released by a commander within the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the YPG is apparently preparing to undertake an offensive against Turkey-led forces in northwestern Syria. The objective of the Kurdish operation, as stated by YPG commander Sipan Hemo, will be to capture the large towns of Azaz and Jarablus in the northern part of Aleppo Governonate.

This statement comes amid escalating tensions between Ankara and Kurdish militias based in Syria. Several days ago, Turkish artillery heavily shelled YPG positions throughout Kurdish-controlled Afrin Canton in Syria. Since at least one week ago Ankara began to deploy considerable quantities of military equipment (tanks, armoured personnel carriers and self-propelled artillery) near the Turkish-Syrian border and in the areas of northern Syria held by its proxy forces in preparation for an offensive to sweep YPG forces from the eastern parts of Afrin Canton.

Considering that the bulk of the YPG’s offensive formations and heavy firepower is currently engaged in the area of Raqqa city as part of the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operation to seize the provincial capital from ISIS, it seems highly unlikely that such an offensive, as announced by Kurdish military authorities, will actually take place.

It is worth mentioning at this point that there is conflicting information as to whether Russian security forces stationed in Afrin Canton (represented by a military base in the town of Kafr Jana) are withdrawing their presence from the region or reinforcing it. In any case, the de-escalation of heightened tensions between Ankara and the YPG over the Afrin area, if it is to happen, will likely come down to Russian mediation.

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Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

“Considering that the bulk of the YPG’s offensive formations and heavy firepower is currently engaged in the area of Raqqa city as part of the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) operation to seize the provincial capital from ISIS, it seems highly unlikely that such an offensive, as announced by Kurdish military authorities, will actually take place.” => Yes they can! And VERY easily! They already left the Raqqa offensive to take Manbij instead and Raqqa ain’t a Kurdish town while al-Bab has +50% Kurds! Moreover, SAA is very near and already liberated a lot of manpower, so they simply have… Read more »

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brdlip

You’re talking as if US Masters of NDF didn’t have a say. Americans would NEVER allow shifting turn between YPG and SAA into besieging Raqqa, there’s their main PR asset – about doing something against Daesh – at stake. Now that Mosul is a done deal and is soon gonna fade away from the news. Kurds are just playing a bargaining chip toward USA: stop the Turks or we stall Raqqa offensive. But actually is a uncovered bluff, as Azaz and Jarablus are on opposite sides of the Turk-occupied truncated “Rojava”. While the offensive to Jarablus could well be enacted… Read more »

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jmNZ

Syria should tell the YPG: don’t give Tabqa (nor anything else) to the Americans.
Otherwise, you can hardly expect us to fight for you against the Turks, which we have been doing.