Kurdish fighters capture Syrian regime troops after fresh fighting

Kurdish fighters capture Syrian regime troops after fresh fighting
Clashes between Syrian regime forces and Kurdish fighters in the east of the country have threatened a quiet and shaky peace agreement between the two groups.
2 min read
22 April, 2016
Residents inspect the damage after clashes in Qamishli [AFP]
Kurdish forces have captured at least 50 Syrian government fighters in the town of Qamishli, after rare clashes broke out this week between between the two groups.

Kurdish-dominated Hassakeh province, in eastern Syria, has seen days of fighting between Kurdish forces and regime troops after a disagreement at a checkpoint led to open combat. 

Fighting escalated when Kurdish police captured Allya Prison, where fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad had been positioned.

The Kurdish Firat news agency reported that 67 regime soldiers surrendered, while AFP put the figure at 50.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, continued violence on Friday saw seven people killed, including a child and a woman.

The clashes threaten the future of cooperation agreement between Damascus and Kurdish forces, which has been cordial at best.

This upscale in violence in Qamishli is perhaps some of the deadliest fighting to take place in the border city since the start of Syria's civil war in 2011.

Intermittent clashes have taken part between regime and Kurdish forces in the past, and the town is governed under an uneasy power-sharing agreement which has been in place since 2012.

This modus vivendi has allowed the Syrian regime to retain control of Qamishli international airport, which is crucial to resupplying its forces stationed there.

The fragile deal has ensured both sides concentrated their fighters on holding off Islamic State group militants who control much of eastern Syria.

Rising tensions, however, were perhaps inevitable after the Kurds made a formal declaration of their autonomous zones earlier this year.

Reports have emerged on social media on Friday of a truce agreement in the area, while others say that Kurdish forces captured parts Qamishli such as al-Wusta.