Military and Security DevelopmentsSyria

Syria’s Qamishli calm, meetings held to reach ceasefire

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – Co-chair of the Interior Directorate in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) Hevi Mustafa told North Press that meetings under Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Russian troops’ auspice are still ongoing to reach a final agreement regarding the security tension in Qamishli, northeast Syria, Saturday.

This took place hours after the temporary ceasefire between the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) and pro-Damascus government National Defense forces (NDF) expired.

On Saturday morning, Asayish released photos that showed their forces deploying inside al-Tai neighborhood and raising their flag over buildings.

Late Thursday night, the Asayish advanced and became closer to al-Tal neighborhood roundabout, according to field sources.

A meeting held under SDF and Russian troops’ auspices in Qamishli airport concluded with a humanitarian ceasefire in al-Tai neighborhood, that is witnessing clashes between the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) and pro-Damascus government National Defense Forces (NDF).

A local security source in Qamishli, northeast Syria, said that successive meetings will be held under Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) and Russian troops’ auspices until the reaching of a permanent ceasefire in al-Tai neighborhood in the city.

A statement by Asayish stated that the ceasefire that started on Friday evening and will continue until 10:00 AM on Saturday.

The meeting held on Friday included representatives of the Asayish and others from Damascus government.

Since Tuesday, al-Tai neighborhood, which was a stronghold of the pro-Syrian government NDF members, has been witnessing violent clashes with medium and light weapons between Asayish and NDF.

Hours earlier, people gathered for the funeral of Sheikh Hayyes al-Jaryyan, a prominent figure of the Bani Saba’a tribe that was assassinated late Thursday night. Al-Jaryyan succumbed to his wounds after he was targeted by snipers from the pro-government NDF while returning home after attending a meeting of a tribal delegation that proposed an initiative to stop the clashes.

On Thursday, ten-year old Abdulsalam Omar was killed by the NDF near al-Wehda Roundabout in Qamishli, while others were wounded.

The Autonomous Administration has been running Jazira areas other areas in north and east Syria after Syrian government forces were expelled from the area in 2012 and after SDF, with the support of the Global Coalition, managed to end Islamic State (ISIS) control over areas in the region.

Pro-Damascus forces only run a small space inside the cities of Qamishli and Hasakah, known as security squares, in addition to several villages south of Qamishli.

In late January, the city of Hasakah witnessed mutual shootouts between Damascus government forces and Asayish.

Asayish command held “the pro-government NDF groups responsible for sowing sedition among the communities of the area.”

On Tuesday, NDF targeted an Asayish checkpoint in Qamishli killing one of the members and sparking violent clashes.

Reporting by Khalaf Ma’o

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