Skip to main content

Conflict Intensifies In Syria's Kurdish Area

Clashes have broken out between the Kurdish People’s Defense Units and the Syrian government in Qamishli, in northern Syria, writes Wladimir van Wilgenburg.
An officer of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) stands guard near the Syrian-Iraq border October 31, 2012. Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani warned Kurds in Syria against being sucked into the "fires of discord," urging them to preserve Kurdish unity as tensions between rival factions threaten to spillover into violence. Syria's Kurds see the war ravaging their country as an unprecedented opportunity to gain the kind of freedoms enjoyed by their ethnic kin in neighbouring Iraq, where they

Clashes erupted on April 4 between the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) and Syrian government forces in Qamishli, the unofficial capital of the Kurdish-dominated areas of northern Syria. They were the first such clashes in that city, still under the control of the Bashar al-Assad regime, in Hasakah province.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, three members of the YPG were killed after government forces attacked a “YPG checkpoint by the al-Basil roundabout by the Qamishli airport highway.” A while later, at least three members of the Syrian security services were killed and seven captured when YPG militiamen attacked two checkpoints at entrances to Qamishli. The violence complicates an already chaotic situation in Syria’s Kurdish regions.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.