11 Syrian security personnel killed in skirmish with Kurdish forces in NE Syria • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

11 Syrian security personnel killed in skirmish with Kurdish forces in NE Syria

At least 10 Syrian security personnel were killed Saturday morning during a skirmish with Kurdish security forces in the city of Qamishli in the northeastern province of al-Hasakah, a monitor group reported and a source told Xinhua.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Right said heavy confrontation erupted between a unit of the Syrian government security forces and a unit of the Kurdish security forces, known as Assayish, in Qamishli.

The Britain-based watchdog group said seven Assayish members were killed in the confrontation that took place when a patrol of Syrian security forces allegedly refused to stop at a checkpoint for the Assayish.

Tension erupted after both sides exchanged wrangling, which later evolved to an exchange of fire when the Syrian security received backup.

The Assayish later cordoned off the area and its snipers fanned on rooftops around the checkpoint near the al-Siyaha neighborhood on the al-Hasakah road.

A source located in al-Hasakah province told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the exact situation is still unclear.

He, however, said that preliminary info indicates that a patrol of the Syrian security force in three vehicles left its headquarters in the central city of Qamishli toward the Dawar al-Janoubi checkpoint of the Syrian security near the Qamishli airport.

On the road, the Syrian patrol was cut off by the Assayish checkpoint near the roundabout of the al-Syiaha neighborhood, which is between the Syrian security checkpoint and the headquarters.

A verbal tension escalated when the Assayish wanted to arrest the Syrian security personnel, the source said. He added that it was not the first time that tension has risen between the Kurdish forces and the Syrian ones.

For the part of the Assayish, the Kurdish militia said in a statement that the Syrian patrol entered Kurdish-controlled areas and arrested civilians.

The statement said that when the Syrian patrol approached the Kurdish checkpoint, its members opened fire on the Assayish, which led to the confrontation.

The Syrian source told Xinhua that the arrest of the civilians was untrue, denying the statement of the Assayish.

It is worth noting that the Kurdish militia control 95 percent of Qamishli city, with the government forces holding positions in the so-called “security square” inside the city and the Qamishli airport.

But the government positions there are not connected, which explains the Kurdish checkpoint on the road.

The relations between the Kurdish forces and the Syrian army have seen some tension in the past, but did not reach to a wide-scale confrontation.

The Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, has held a few meetings in the capital Damascus with Syrian officials about the future of the Kurdish-controlled areas in northeastern Syria and they agreed to form negotiation committees.

The Kurds have for long been calling to have an autonomous region in northern Syria, but the Syrian government side has repeatedly said that all Syrian areas must be restored by the Syrian army.

Source: 11 Syrian security personnel killed in skirmish with Kurdish forces in NE Syria – Xinhua | English.news.cn

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