On January 27 morning, hundreds of government supporters took to the streets in the cities of al-Hasakah and al-Qamishli in northeastern Syria to protest against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The protesters condemned the SDF’s siege on government-held parts of al-Hasakah and al-Qamishli as well as the hostile actions of Turkish forces in the northeastern region.
The siege began two weeks ago with the aim of pressuring Damascus into easing security restrictions on Kurdish-held areas in northern Aleppo. The SDF security forces, Asayish, have been preventing all sorts of supplies, including food, from entering government-held parts of the two cities. Students and state employees are also banned from leaving.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the protesters were attacked by Asayish personnel, who opened fire at them. Asayish personnel also assaulted a camera man of the Syrian state TV and then attempted to arrest him. However, he managed to escape.
The Damascus government and the SDF are currently in talks to end the siege and de-escalate the sitaution. Russia is reportedly facilitating the ongoing talks.
The protests in al-Hasakah and al-Qamishli will not likely lead to further escalation. The SDF, on its part, will not likely back down and fully lift the siege any time soon.
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