Syrian Kurdish-led forces take control of regime-held areas of Qamishli
Syrian Kurdish-led forces took control of regime-held areas in the northeastern city of Qamishli, Hassakeh governorate this week amid tensions between the two sides.
The Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] and Asayish - the police force of the Kurdish-controlled autonomous regions in north and east Syria - expelled regime forces and allied groups after taking control of government zones of the border city without resistance, The New Arab’s sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, has reported.
This included a security quarter, which was the centre of regime presence in the city.
Shortly after the takeover, Kurdish forces opened roads leading into the previously regime-held area and removed barriers.
The only administrations which remained in the hands of regime forces are the military security, state security, and political security buildings, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed’s correspondent said.
Qamishli airport and another district to the south of the city are still held by the regime.
Russia, another key player in the area and a key ally of the Assad regime, has attempted to mediate between the two sides.
Analysis: What would official recognition of the Kurdish autonomous region mean for northeast Syria? - @will_christou writes https://t.co/w9gLQLmwR0— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) July 25, 2021
On Saturday, the SDF took control of the main bakeries in the Hassakeh region, which provide bread for civilians living under regime control in Qamishli.
Analysts say the move was to pressure the Syrian regime to end its siege on Kurdish-controlled neighbourhoods in Aleppo, Syria's largest city.
Over a decade of conflict has left Syria deeply fractured, with various foreign armies and militias in control of different regions.
The war has killed over half a million people and has produced several million refugees and internally displaced, most due to fierce regime bombardments.
Much of the country has been left in ruins, but the regime-controlled coastal governorates of Lattakia and Tartus, and the southern majority-Druze governorate of Suweida, have been largely spared from the fighting.