Maps created by myself showing the “high-water mark” of the YPG offensive against radical Islamist groups south of Qamishli from the night of 26 December 2013 until around 7 January 2014, when YPG leadership announced the operation’s official termination following rebel counterattacks (for an insightful analysis of what may have happened, I recommend this post by @r3sho). First published on Twitter on 17 January. Once again, many thanks to @Avashin for providing invaluable field reports and fact-checking.
Read more for some additional description and comments on these maps:
The first map depicts the YPG’s advances on the rebel stronghold of Tal Hamis coming from the north (Tal Ma’ruf & Harki) and west (Tal Brak).
Note the presence of the Syriac Military Council (MFS) alongside the northern YPG contingent as well as its control of two villages populated by Syriacs (also sometimes called Assyrians, Chaldeans, or Aramaeans) that were liberated from Islamists several months prior during YPG operations (in which the MFS may have also participated). This group has since officially joined the ranks of the YPG following the unveiling of the draft constitution for the “Democratic Self-Administration” in the areas West Kurdistan (Rojava), which promises unprecedented cultural rights for Syriacs living in the region. The MFS will likely continue to exercise a significant degree of self-management within the YPG as a branch of the larger militia in charge of Syriac affairs.
The second map depicts the YPG’s advances on Tal Hamis coming from Ya’rubiyah (Til Koçer), liberated by the YPG from rebel groups last October.