Tribal figures, activists in Syria’s Raqqa accuse government of sowing sedition

RAQQA, Syria (North Press) – Tribal notables and civil activists in the city of Raqqa, north Syria, say that the Syrian government seeks to sow sedition in Jazira using militants affiliated with it.

Over the past two days, the city of Qamishli, northeast Syria, had witnessed clashes between the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) and militants of the pro-government National Defense (NDF) which are still ongoing.

On Thursday, an informed local source said that the Asayish reached an understanding with the Syrian government to end clashes in Qamishli under Russian auspices, though the NDF reportedly violated the ceasefire, including in an incident where a child was killed and two people were wounded by NDF bullets.

”The sedition that the government is inflaming occasionally in northeast Syria sheds the blood of Syrians, who are tired of the prolonged conflict on their lands,” Ramadan al-Rahhal, an al-Ali tribe notable in Raqqa, said.

”The biggest loser of such conflicts is Syrians themselves; therefore, there is no other way than returning to dialogue,” he added.

”The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) represents all the citizens of northeast Syria today, being the one who liberated the area from terrorism,” he stated.

He called for the implementation of the political solution and the activation of Syrian dialogue to reach a unified Syria for all its citizens.

He also called the government to stop continued provocations against the Asayish.

On Wednesday, dozens of civilians fled al-Tai neighborhood due to the clashes, and the Asayish secured them safe arrival to calm neighborhoods under its control.

”What happened in Qamishli is a continuation of previous scenarios by the government to sow sedition between the AANES’s communities,” Mahmoud al-Hadi, a civil activist in Raqqa, said.

”This behavior by the government is no wonder, rather it is a fundamental pillar of its policy that it follows in all regions,” he added.

”The Syrian government aims, through sparking fighting in Qamishli, to divert attention from the tragic conditions that citizens live in in the areas it administers.”

The government-held areas have recently been witnessing living and economic crises, and though the government has issued a series of decisions, they have provided no solution for the deteriorating living conditions.

”The Damascus government wants to appear as the defender of all Syrian lands to promote the military victory project,” Ahmed al-Hassan, a media activist in Raqqa, said.

”The aim of the government’s security policies is to distract the attention of the popular base from the economic collapse in the interior of the country,” he added.

”The messages of the government are directed to its international allies to show that the SDF is an enemy that threatens Syrian unity and existence of the government.”

“The Syrian government’s tricks and actions under the cover of patriotism are now exposed to the public,” Muhammad al-Ali, a civil activist in Raqqa, said.

He added that the Syrian government’s attempts to exploit the tribal character to strike the population’s diversity in Qamishli has failed, despite the same scenario being repeated occasionally.

Al-Ali believes that the residents of Qamishli “must be aware and not be dragged into such plans.”

At the end of January, Hasakah city witnessed mutual shootouts between government forces and the Asayish, which resulted in the killing of a member of the government forces.

At the time, government official media reported that it was an Arab tribal uprising against the SDF and the AANES.

However, officials in the AANES and politicians in the region accused government officials, primary among them the Hasakah governor, of seeking to ”ignite Kurdish-Arab sedition in Jazira.”

Reporting by Ahmed al-Hassan/ Ammar Abdullatif

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