Tensions mount between Syrian Kurds and Damascus
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Kurdish Asayish (Internal Security Forces) blocked all roads to the government security zone and airport in Qamishlo with cement blocks, effectively besieging regime forces there, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Tuesday.
Moreover, "Asayish forces have advanced in new areas and taken control of areas stretching from Al-Raes street, Al-Siyasiyah Street, and reached Al-Sabaa Bahrat area," SOHR reported Wednesday.
There were earlier reports the Russian government was trying to mediate between the Kurds and the Syrian government in Qamishlo airport, but the meeting failed. So far, it's unclear what Damascus's demands are.
Since late March, Syrian government forces have besieged the Kurdish-held neighborhoods of Al-Ashrafiyyah and Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo.
Asayish checkpoints prevent basic goods such as bread, food, and fuel from entering the Syrian government-controlled areas, the Syria-based Rojava Information Centre (RIC) tweeted.
Qamishlo is experiencing a tense calm as those parts of the city with SAA presence - particularly the 'security square' in the north of the city - have been surrounded by Asayish forces. SAR forces who exit these areas are being arrested, according to Asayish. pic.twitter.com/ckc4r3JqgM— Rojava Information Center (@RojavaIC) April 13, 2022
The RIC also said on Apr. 8 that Asayish took over the sole Syrian government-controlled bakery in Qamishlo. It remains closed and in Asayish hands.
Since 2011, the Syrian government has sought to avoid increasing tensions with the SDF. However, government and Kurdish forces have clashed several times in the past – especially in the towns of Hasakah and Qamishlo.
Despite Russian mediation, both sides have failed to reach an agreement on the future of local autonomy in northeastern Syria.
Damascus has also opposed the alliance between the Syrian Kurds and the US-led coalition against ISIS.