[Marxism] Interesting Statistics about Collaboration of YPG and Assad Forces

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 13 04:51:39 MDT 2018

RKOB sent a link to an article by Bassam Kassoumeh (see below).

Kassoumeh says:

"In early 2018, the YPG publicly requested the support of the Syrian regime to obstruct the Turkish expansion in northern Syria".

This was in the context where Turkey was bombing and invading Afrin.  There were indications that Turkey was planning to occupy large parts of northern Syria (not just Afrin) indefinitely.

In this situation the Syrian Democratic Forces called for cooperation against the Turkish invasion of Afrin. 

However the Assad regime did very little to help in the defence of Afrin.  It sent a few militia members who soon retreated.

Kassoumeh says:

"As Figure 1 shows, the incidents where the regime and YPG forces directly clashed were negligible, as were fatalities from either side....

"ACLED data therefore supports qualitative observations that the regime and the YPG tend to avoid confrontations".

Given that Turkey and its proxies were continuously attacking the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, it made sense for the YPG to try to avoid military confrontations with the Assad regime.  They did not want to be fighting on two fronts.

But the avoidance of military confrontation was also intended to facilitate the political approach of the DFNS towards the Assad regime.  They call for negotiations with the aim of democratising Syria.

This may seem like a futile exercise, given the nature of the Assad regime.  But there have been cases in Latin America where negotiations between a reactionary and repressive government and a leftist opposition have produced democracy (albeit extremely flawed).  An example is El Salvador.

The Firat News Agency has had a large number of articles on the peace process in Colombia.  For example:




Perhaps they see a similarity between FARC's approach and that of the north Syrian revolutionaries.   Like FARC, the latter also want to negotiate with a reactionary government to bring about democratic reform.

The Colombian example does not look very promising at this stage.  It does not seem like a good example to imitate.

However it might be argued that the balance of forces is more favourable in Syria than in Colombia.  The SDF is probably stronger than FARC was. Disillusionment with Assad amongst the religious minorities who form a large part of his base of support may result in them becoming open to the DFNS's message.

I am still skeptical but I don't condemn them for trying.

Chris Slee

From: Marxism <marxism-bounces at lists.csbs.utah.edu> on behalf of RKOB via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu>
Sent: Friday, 12 October 2018 4:52 PM
To: Chris Slee
Subject: [Marxism] Interesting Statistics about Collaboration of YPG and Assad Forces

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