Kurds clash with Syrian government forces in Qamishlo
QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) – Violent clashes erupted between Syrian government forces and the internal Kurdish forces (Asayish) in the Kurdish city of Qamishlo, northern Syria.
Haybar Othman, a Kurdistan24 reporter in Qamishlo, said two Kurdish Asayish elements lost their lives when a group of Syrian government forces targeted two vehicles belonging to the security forces.
"The Syrian forces opened fire on two vehicles, one vehicle fled while the other was shot," Othman said. "Two Asayish lost their lives and two others were wounded."
Security sources told Kurdistan24 that the fighting came after Kurdish security forces confiscated a car containing an officer of the pro-regime militia at a point near the regime-controlled area in the city.
Responding to the Asayish’s act, the Syrian government forces launched attacks on two vehicles.
Othman stated that people began fleeing from the markets during the clashes and that the Asayish offered them the required aid to secure their escape.
"The situation in Qamishlo was tense, and shops had closed their doors," he said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict through a network of sources, revealed a similar casualty toll, "Two Asayish members died and three others were wounded."
Additionally, security sources told Kurdistan24 that the Asayish killed eight members of the Syrian government forces and captured 14 others.
Qamishlo, in Hasakeh province, is under the shared control of the Syrian regime and Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing of People's Protection Units (YPG), who have declared zones of "autonomous administration" across parts of north and northeast Syria.
The YPG and PYD have often been accused by their rivals of supporting the Assad regime despite having engaged in clashes with Syrian security forces in the past.
The YPG has been the most effective partner on the ground in Syria for the US-led coalition that is fighting the Islamic State (IS). In October 2015, it became part of the new US-backed alliance, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Reporting by Hisham Arafat
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany and Ava Homa