Today Syria is very close to starting the comprehensive political process with all sides involved in the internal crisis. But the political (and armed) groups operating in the North of Syria unfortunately are not ready to cooperate with Damascus.
The first one is Syrian Interim Government that is a so-called ‘alternative government of the Syrian Opposition’ formed by the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces armed group. Now it’s indirectly controlling certain territories in Syria and claiming to be the sole legitimate government.
By the way, the Interim Government is seated in exile (!sic) in Turkey. Its headquarters in Syria are in Turkey-controlled Azaz city. It’s the armed opposition group(s) which in fact terrorize the locals and make business on looting civilians and charge fees for everything possible. That’s why people in rebel-held territories often organize rallies against the militants and ask Damascus for help.
Another force which is rather powerful in the North of Syria is Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) commonly known as Rojava. It’s a de facto autonomous region in Northern Syria. DFNS consists of three self-governing regions: Afrin, Jazira, and Euphrates. Rojava became half-autonomous in 2012.
Now the Kurds control are in control of large territories in the North of Syria and are cooperating with the US-forces. Moreover, the armed groups of DFNS called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which are in fact in control of Afrin, Jazira, and Euphrates regions oppress the locals forcing them to obey and force civilians to join the ranks of their armed units against their will.
To sum up, the situation in the North of Syria stays unstable because of the forces operating in there which strive for independence and try to create their own areas separated from the official Damascus.
And the most challenging issue for the Syrian government today is to convince these two large and powerful forces operating in the North of the country to get back to political process and open the way to peace and integration and consolidation of the country.