Clashes in the northeastern Syrian city of al-Qamishli have finally came to a halt as a result of a temporary ceasefire agreement between the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) and Asayish, the security wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The agreement, which was brokered by the Russian Military Police, was reached on April 23. Initially, the ceasefire was set to end at 10:00 am local time. However, both sides agreed to expand the ceasefire for another 24 hours.
The clashes erupted as a result of a personal dispute between Arab tribal fighters from the NDF and Asayish personnel in the district of Tayy late on April 20. During the clashes, Asayish managed to capture most of the district.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, six NDF fighters were killed and seven others were injured in the clashes. From its side, Asayish lost two of its personnel while six others were injured.
On April 24, Asayish handed over the bodies of three NDF fighters who were killed during the clashes in Tayy district as a gesture of good will.
Ilham al-Abdullah, a commander in Asayish, told the Hawar News Agency that the conflict in al-Qamishli won’t end until the NDF is removed from Tayy district.
“The mercenaries of the NDF continue their attacks and provocations, and we seek to completely remove them from the district,” the commander said. “We, as the internal security forces, will protect our areas from any attack.”
Despite the high ton of Asayish, several sources reported that the SDF will actually pull out from Tayy. The NDF will not return, however. The district will be handed back the Syrian Arab Army or the Syrian Police.
Al-Qamishli clashes were another serious blow to the relations between Damascus and the SDF. Despite sharing many interests, the two sides are yet to reach a political settlement.
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