Syrian army blames ‘military wing of PKK’ for Hasakah clashes

Members of the Kurdish security forces of Asayish are seen in Syria's Qamishli. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

HASAKAH – The general command of the Syrian armed forces said that the Kurdish security force of the Assayish is the military wing of the PKK, and provoked the Syrian state.

In a rare statement, the Syrian general command of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on Friday blamed the Asayish for provoking their forces in the city of Hasakah, accusing them of “stealing cotton, oil, kidnapping civilians, and spreading chaos”.

Moreover, using similar language as the Turkish government and Syrian rebels, the Syrian government linked the Asayish to the Turkey’s Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

According to the Syrian army, the Kurds used tanks and artillery, and targeted the positions of the Syrian army, accusing the Kurds of killing civilians and soldiers.

“Despite all the attempts to contain the situation, and restore calm and stability, the Asayish did not show any response, and continued to commit their crimes,” the Syrian army said, indirectly confirming the Syrian government reached out to the Kurds to make a ceasefire.

The SAA said that this led to a response by their forces to target the ‘source of the fire’.

The SAA blamed the Kurds for targeting Arabs and the Syrian army, and said that they will respond to any attacks in order to ‘preserve the territorial integrity of Syria, and the safety and security of its citizens.”

However, the Kurds say Syrian artillery and regime jets killed and injured dozens of civilians that are fleeing to the nearby cities of Qamishli and Amude.

Sihanok Dibo, an official of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), described the Syrian regime’s attacks on the Kurds as “a love message to the Erdogan government in Turkey”, after the recent meetings between Iran and Turkey.

He suggested that the Syrian regime wants to assure Turkey and Iran that it will try to prevent the liberation of “47-kilometers territory between Manbij and Efrin”.

“But the totalitian regime in Hasakah will fail and the society will win, and the federal system will prevail,” he said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Syrian Kurds blame regime attacks on Iran and Turkey

The local self-administration of Syria’s Kurdish region on Thursday blamed Turkey and Iran for the attacks by the Baath-regime on Kurdish positions with airstrikes in the city of Hasakah.

On 13 August, Iranian FM Mohammed Javad Zarif and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu met to discuss recent Turkish meetings with Russia. In a press statement after the meeting, Cavusoglo said that Turkey does not see any difference between the Kurdish forces of Syria’s PYD, Turkey’s PKK and Iran’s PJAK.

The self-administration says the recent attacks are related to the successes of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) over ISIS in Manbij and plots by regional countries. 

“The Syrian regime is apparently working with some regional countries and especially Turkey, which intervened directly in Syria and Rojava,” the Kurdish administration said in a statement.

“This is an indication of coordination between Turkey, Iran and the Baathist regime in Syria, to stop the implementation of the democratic project in northern Syria and Rojava,” the administration said.

Kurdish positions were for the first time hit by airstrikes on Thursday in the Kalasseh and Mahatta neighborhoods in Hasakah city. At least five civilians were killed and dozens more wounded in the regime bombardment in the Kurdish-held neighborhoods. Also, the city saw a wave of displacement among the people who tried to head to more stable areas in the province. Meanwhile, a number of civilians remained stranded in Hasakah’s conflicted areas where clashes continued between the Kurdish Asayish forces and the pro-regime troops.

Kurdish YPG spokesperson Redur Xelil on Friday confirmed the regime attacks, but said this is the first time airstrikes are being used against Kurdish positions in Hasakah.

“This happened after SDF and YPG have achieved victories against Daesh [ISIS] to empty the meaning of Manbij liberation. Because they see the defeat of Daesh as their defeat,” Xelil said.

Kurdish officials suggested that the Assad regime took a suicidal decision by striking their positions on Thursday.

“We will not stand idly towards these brutal attacks and those whose hand are stained by blood,” Xelil said.

Speaking to ARA News, Mansour Saloum, co-head of the Rojava’s democratic federal council, said that what’s going on in Hasakah “is a plot prepared by the Syrian regime to stop the victories being achieved by Syrian Democratic Forces on the ground.” 

“It is a plot by frustrated forces which couldn’t provide anything for their people. This indicated that the regime doesn’t want any peaceful solution for the Syrian crisis, since it’s actions are related to outside agendas” Saloum argued.

Clashes resumed between Kurdish forces and pro-regime troops in Hasakah last Friday after a ceasefire failed between the two sides. The YPG also denied that a new ceasefire was in place, and that bombing and clashes continued.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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