Qamishli – Clashes broke out on Wednesday evening between Kurdish security forces and the Syrian military. Kurdish police, known as the Asayish, have cordoned off several neighborhoods in Qamishli to limit civilian casualties.
While Qamishli city has a history of interethnic violence and tensions tend to run high, the immediate cause of Wednesday’s fighting may have been a miscommunication.
A Syrian Army vehicle attempted to pass through an Asayish security checkpoint without stopping. A Kurdish officer told ARA News that the “Asayish fired on the car for refusing to stop and then clashes erupted.”
“We’ve faced a lot of threats from Islamic State terrorists in the past,” the officer explained.
The fighting’s epicenter was al-Wahda Street, in central Qamishli. While the street is patrolled by the Asayish, adjacent neighborhoods to the west are controlled by the Syrian National Defense Forces.
The Kurdish officer defended the actions of the Asayish, saying that it was their “duty to prevent any breach into our security checkpoints in Qamishli, in order to protect the people against any terror acts.” A Kurdish police officer was injured in the ensuing clashes.
At least two members of the Syrian military were also killed. An Asayish spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity, told ARA News that “Yasser Wazzeh, a prominent pro-Assad officer in Qamishli,” had succumbed to his wounds.
Clashes have erupted in Qamishli with alarming regularity. In April, Kurdish forces engaged Syrian government forces at close quarters, causing the deaths of dozens of combatants and civilians. After a round of talks, a deal was struck to end the fighting.
Reporting by: Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News