After days of heavy clashes in Qamishli with a number of casualties on both sides and heavy shelling of civilian areas by Assad regime’s affiliated National Defence Force (NDF) and despite negotiations and mediation that included Russian officials, tensions continue to escalate in the regional capital of Qamishli, NE Syria.
Since the so called ‘Syrian Revolution’ began in 2011, the Ba’athist regime of Bashar al-Assad has been fighting on multiple fronts against different opposition groups and gangs in Syria. It’s strategy with the Kurds in NE Syria has been very strategic and the regime has stood and watched as the Kurds fought against ISIS and Turkey. Assad’s regional supporter Russia has stealthily done Assad’s work by allowing Turkish aircraft and forces to attack and occupy Afrin and other points along the border such as Jarablus and Serekaniye.
Russia, supposedly a signature to a ceasefire, also just stands by and watches as Turkey daily bombards Kurdish villages and land along the M4 international highway and sends Jihadist mercenaries to attack SDF forces near Ain Issa.
Although there have, on occasion, been several direct clashes between Syrian regime forces and the SDF/YPG such as most recently in January this year in Hasakah where the Assad regime forces control about 10% of the city and in Qamishli where regime forces control around one third including the airport, there has mostly been an agreement between the two sides, who so far, have managed to keep the tensions to a political level rather than risking military escalation.
However, some analysts are wondering whether that is now changing with the most recent clashes that are taking place in Qamishli around Harat Al-Tai neighbourhood in Qamishli that is mainly populated by Arabs, and many of whom are loyal to the Al-Assad regime. The neighbourhood has been used as a headquarters and recruitment centre for pro-Assad and pro-Iranian militias.
Around 10pm local time on Tuesday evening, fighters from the regime-backed militia known as National Defence Forces (NDF), shot dead a commander of the Kurdish Asayish security forces, at an SDF checkpoint in the centre of Qamishlo city, according to Kurdistan 24.
Heavy armed clashes have been continuing since Tuesday when armed groups loyal to Bashar al Assad have continued heavy clashes with Kurdish forces of the Asayish leading to an escalation that has now seen Kurdish special forces of HAT being deployed in the area and hundreds of civilians in the al Tai neighbourhood being moved out of the homes for safety.
Tonight there are also reports of NDF forces indiscriminately bombing civilian areas.
Despite attempts at mediation there are unconfirmed reports circulating from the region on Twitter tonight that the SAA, Syrian Army forces maybe preparing to get involved which would be an escalation not yet seen so far and would no doubt elicit a response from the YPG/SDF forces.
In the meantime Turkey continues to bomb the region around Ain Issa as the international conspiracy against the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria continues.