Kurds clash with Syrian regime in Qamishlo

Violent clashes erupted between the Kurdish Asayish (internal security forces) and Syrian regime forces in the northeastern Kurdish city of Qamishlo.
author_image Hisham Arafat

QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) - On Wednesday, violent clashes erupted between the Kurdish Asayish (internal security) and Syrian regime forces in the northeastern Kurdish city of Qamishlo, a Kurdistan24 reporter said. No casualties have been reported yet.

An embedded Kurdistan24 reporter states that clashes erupted when the Syrian regime--which controls a small area in the center of the city--used sound bombs to frighten local residents shopping in the nearby market. 

Responding to the regimes' assault, Asayish forces formed a security cordon around the regime-controlled area.

"A regime fighter rushed into our office [Kurdistan24 office] to hide, but he was followed by a Kurdish security detail which quickly caught him," a Kurdistan24 reporter said.

Sources in the Qamishlo Asayish office told Kurdistan24 that Asayish conducted a wide-scale campaign detaining about 60 members of a pro-Syrian government militia, and seized six of their vehicles.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict through a network of sources on the ground, said Asayish also shelled an area housing several buildings belonging to the regime.

Additionally, the pro-YPG news outlet ANHA said that the controversial move by the Asayish came after “the provocations of Syrian regime forces and their practices against the civilians of Qamishlo [including] detonating stun grenades to intimidate them.”

ANHA further claims that the pro-regime National Defense Force (NDF) militia in Qamishlo was plotting to “create sedition” in the city by attempting to arrest residents seeking to commemorate the 1988 chemical attack in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq city of Halabja which killed an estimated five thousand  Kurds in a few minutes.

It is worth mentioning that there were violent clashes between the pro-regime NDF militia and the Kurdish YPG in Qamishlo in late December.

On Dec 15, 2015, tensions erupted when a drunk regime fighter began shooting at Kurdish traffic police. Responding, YPG Asayish arrested him along with eleven other NDF militiamen.

Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Benjamin Kweskin and Ava Homa