YPG to investigate clash with regime that killed 11

“We assure our people that what happened in Qamishlo was carried out by those who want to thwart our efforts.”
author_image Wladimir van Wilgenburg

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The General Command of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Saturday said they would investigate a clash between regime forces in the city of Qamishlo that killed 11, and also expressed condolences to the victims.

On Sept. 8, a clash broke out between the Asayish, the Kurdish-led internal security, and the Syrian regime forces in the city of Qamishlo. Many were killed and injured on both sides.

Nouri Mahmoud, the YPG spokesperson, said the conflict “created an atmosphere of tension and stress in the city.”

“As a General Command of the People’s Protection Units, we extend condolences to the families of the victims and express our deep sorrow over what happened,” he said in a statement.

Mahmoud revealed the YPG had opened an investigation into the incident, calling both sides “to calm down and take the general interest as a starting point in the search for solutions.”

The fighting in Qamishlo comes weeks after a delegation of the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) visited Damascus and held talks with the government.

Following the incident, Major General Jaiz Al-Musa, Governor of Hassaka, issued severe threats in an interview with Damascus-based pro-regime, Sham FM Radio.

“We will kill all those villains and their US supporters,” he said referring to the Asayish.

The SDC, which is the political umbrella of the US-backed, YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), disapproved of the clashes.

“Any escalation, at this time, will not serve any Syrian national party that believes in dialogue to find a solution to the Syrian crisis,” the SDC said in a statement on Sept. 9.

It also called on the concerned parties to exercise restraint and steer clear of any provocations.

“We assure our Syrian people that what happened in Qamishlo was carried out by those who want to thwart our efforts.”

According to Nicholas A. Heras, a Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS),the YPG wants “to carefully manage its relationship with pro-Assad communities” in Qamishlo and avoid further conflict.

“Qamishli is not supposed to be a security threat to the new Self Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria,” he told Kurdistan 24, using the Arabic name for Qamishlo.“It is supposed to be a city that is stable and a hub for movement of goods and people into and out of the Self Administration’s territory.”

Heras added that instability and clashes with Syrian regime troops in the city go against the Kurdish forces’ interests.

“With all the responsibilities that have been put on the YPG, as a vital part of the SDF, by the Coalition to stabilize post-[Islamic State] areas of Syria, the YPG cannot tolerate headaches in Qamishli.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany