ZALIN, Syria — Clashes erupted between the Syrian-regime’s National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) of North and East Syria on Tuesday night following the killing of an ISF member, Khaled Haji, by NDF fighters who were stopped at an ISF coronavirus checkpoint.
The Media Center of the ISF stated that the NDF fighters killed Haji at a checkpoint near the al-Wehda roundabout in Zalin (Qamishli).
“The Internal Security Forces will not hesitate for a moment to defend themselves and eliminate all attempts by the National Defense Forces to target its security points and spread sedition and sow instability in our regions,” read a statement released by the ISF.
Last night, clashes erupted around the entrance of Zalin’s Tay neighborhood which is controlled by the Syrian regime. Clashes continued throughout the day, with ISF slowing securing the neighborhood from the NDF.
ISF units helped dozens of civilians evacuate the neighborhood amidst the fighting.
According to local sources, the ISF have suffered three wounded, in addition to the death of Khaled Haji, as a result of the fighting. At least three NDF fighters were reportedly killed and an unknown number wounded.
Russian forces are reportedly attempting to mediate between the two sides and end the clashes, convening an emergency meeting at Qamishli International Airport.
This is not the first time that the NDF have targeted ISF checkpoints and buildings. There have been routine flare ups in tensions between the NDF and ISF, sometimes resulting in injuries or deaths. Last May, buildings of the Sutoro (Syriac Security Forces), a branch of the ISF, were targeted by the NDF with sound bombs. The sound bomb attacks followed clashes the previous month which resulted from NDF fighters opening fire on an ISF convoy travelling through a roundabout.