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Kurds refuse any concessions to the Syrian government in Qamishlo

Kurdish fighters seize control of Allaya prison after clashes with Syrian regime forces in Qamishlo. Photo: ARA News

QAMISHLO – Kurdish officials suggest they will not withdraw from any places captured in the clashes last week with the Syrian regime despite the recently reached ceasefire in the northeastern city of Qamishlo.

“The regime forces consider themselves victorious after the Geneva peace talks and that’s why they tried to spread their authority over the people in Qamishlo (Qamishli),” Dr. Nasser Haji Mansur, a Kurdish official of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), told ARA News, speaking about the clashes that started on 20 April and lasted until 23 April.

The Kurds say they will not make any concessions to the Syrian government.

“We will not return anything. Any area taken with the blood of martyrs is a red-line for us,” Hekem Xelo, a senior Kurdish official from the Hasakah province told ARA News about the areas captured by the Kurdish forces from the regime, such as the Alaya prison.

Syrian Kurdish regional interior minister Canaan Barakat on Sunday also confirmed they will not return any areas, after visiting the regime prison of Alaya which was taken from pro-Assad forces subsequent to heavy clashes.

“Our conditions for the ceasefire are to dissolve the [pro-Assad] National Defence Forces militia and take their weapons, and we will not return locations that we took,” Xelo added.

The Kurdish official also said that the regime should rehire locals that were fired from their government jobs for refusing to join the regime’s self-protection units.

The regime tried to push locals employed by the government in the Hasakah province to undergo militia training. The government is still one of the employers of civilians in the region.

“For two months they cut my salary for not joining the militia training,” a Kurdish government worker told ARA News, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Most Kurds didn’t join this militia,” he added.

Moreover, the Kurds want the regime to pay compensation for the damage done to civilian properties resulting from indiscriminate mortar fire, and to exchange all prisoners.

Wasfi Bave Dindar (55) told ARA News that mortar fire from the regime base destroyed his home.

“According to our information it came from the regime base, and thanks to God my children weren’t inside and left five minutes before the mortar hit the house,” he said. “I was the first person to witness the destruction after we returned.”

Moreover, the Kurds want Syrian government militias to not interfere with the work of the local administration or to stop vehicles of Kurdish security forces, nor trying to expand its control.

“This last agreement between us and the Syrian government means that the regime is weak,” Xelo concluded.

It is yet unclear whether the Syrian government will compensate civilians or dissolve the NDF militia.

Many Kurdish civilians fear that at one day the clashes with the regime could re-erupt.

The Kurdish security police said in a public statement on Saturday that at least 31 regime fighters were killed and 102 captured. Moreover, in total 13 fighters on the Kurdish side were killed in the fight with the Syrian regime forces.

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