YPG fighters in Syria. AFP File Photo.
The Syrian Kurds have successfully driven an armed opposition group, the Levant Front, from a former Syrian military airbase in Syria's north.
According to sources quoted by Reuters they were supported by Russian airstrikes in this endeavour. No fewer than 30 Russian air raids assisted the Kurdish offensive.
"The fall of Menagh airport has made the situation on the ground pretty grim," remarked one commander of the Levant Front.
These rebels had controlled the former airbase since August 2013.
The Syrian Kurds initiated this offensive following the recent Syrian offensive on opposition forces in Aleppo which has also been supported by Russian airstrikes. Both Russia and Syria want the northwestern Syrian border with Turkey closed to these various groups, including the Kurds who have been attacked by such groups in the past.
"The Kurds have gained from the major offensive in Aleppo to widen their areas of control," explained the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdulrahman.
The Kurds advanced from Syria Kurdistan's most isolated westward canton of Afrin which has been attacked multiple times by Islamist groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra. They wish to prevent attacks on this canton and close the border to these various Islamist groups.