Political Analysis Based On Combined Reports
Amid claims of major advances for anti-regime forces in Aleppo, news emerged that rebels in the city had moved into the Kurdish neighborhood of Ashrafiya, which has been under the control of the Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD). Throughout the Syrian uprising and subsequent civil war, the PYD has maintained a policy of neutrality, attacking both rebel and regime forces who might impinge on their zones of control. Later, a video emerged on YouTube that purported to show rebel fighters firing on an anti-rebel demonstration in Ashrafiya. These fighters were identified as operating under the banner of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Clashes between rebels and militiamen from the PYD-aligned Popular Protection Committees (YPD) culminated in the expulsion of rebels from Ashrafiya. While this skirmish can be interpreted as signs of escalating Arab-Kurdish tensions in Syria and a desire on the part of Arab rebels to impose their will on the Kurds, a report last week in Lebanon’s Daily Star purports to give a more complex picture.
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