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Tensions Grow In Al-Qamishli Following Arrest Of Syrian Intelligence Officers By SDF Security Forces

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Tensions Grow In Al-Qamishli Following Arrest Of Syrian Intelligence Officers By SDF Security Forces

Illustrative image, SDF’s security forces

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Tensions are mounting in the northeastern Syrian city of al-Qamishli between government forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Late on December 26, the SDF security forces, commonly known as Asayish, arrested three officers of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Directorate. The arrest happened after a security operation by government forces, in which several members of the SDF and employees of its administration were taken into custody.

According to several sources, including the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, government security forces and Asayish units in al-Qamishli were placed on a high-alert following the arrests. Nevertheless, no clashes were reported.

“The Internal Security Forces [Asayish] dominates al-Qamishli city, although regime forces are stationed in several positions there,” the monitoring group said in a report.

The Russian Military Police, which maintains a large base at al-Qamishli Airport, intervened to prevent any escalation. Russian forces conducted a patrol inside the city.

In the past few years, limited clashes between government forces and Asayish boke out in al-Qamishli city on several occasions. In no case, however, the clashes developed into a real conflict.

The SDF, which relies on Russian and Damascus support to deter Turkish forces, will likely submit and release the Syrian intelligence officers very soon. A conflict in al-Qamishli will not likely end in favor of the Kurdish-led group.

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