Syrian Army, Kurds Continue to Fight Amid Ceasefire Efforts

Kurds Deny Any Deal to End Fight Was Finalized

by Jason Ditz, August 21, 2016

Continuing fighting which began late last week, the Syrian Army and the Kurdish YPG were in intense fighting with one another throughout the weekend, adding to an increasingly complex civil war with an ever-growing number of factions fighting one another.

The fighting is centered on the city of Hasakeh, which has been jointly held and cooperatively defended by the YPG and the military throughout most of the civil war. Syrian military officials say the fighting is the result of Kurdish attempts to take the rest of the city.

Either way, Russia is scrambling to try to mediate the dispute, and there we even some premature claims that a ceasefire had been agreed to, though the Kurds have since insisted that no deal has been finalized at all. The reported deal would’ve had the Kurds return seized positions to the military, essentially trying to turn back the clock to the situation before the fight broke out.

For a long time, the intermittent ISIS invasions had been sufficient to keep the two sides on more or less amicable terms. Recent ISIS losses in the region have left Hasakeh much less likely to face serious attacks from them, and subsequently appears to have some believing they can contest the city outright.

This is a serious gamble, with the Kurds appearing to rely on the idea that the US will intervene to keep Syria from bringing air power into the mix. US officials seem eager to do so, though what that will really amount to remains to be seen.

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