Syriac Union Party Co-Chair Barsoum: Syrian regime’s National Defense Forces are a tool to undermine stability in North and East Syria

ZALIN, Syria — In a statement concerning the ongoing clashes between the Syrian regime-aligned National Defense Forces (NDF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF) of North and East Syria, Co-Chair of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) Sanharib Barsoum, said that, “The National Defense Forces have always had an agenda to undermine security and stability in Gozarto (Jazira) Region, specifically Zalin (Qamishli) and Hasakah.”

They are linked to the Syrian regime, which is always trying to disturb the project of the Autonomous Administration and create a state of unrest and instability in this region,” he continued. “The regime’s use of these militias against the Autonomous Administration is an attempt to create strife and chaos between the region’s components.”

The role of Russia in mediating an end to clashes is important said Barsoum, expressing his hope that they can act as a guarantor of stability in the region.

“No one wants to continue the war, fighting and terrorizing the people, but what is happening now is a response to maintaining the stability of the region and ending the presence of these militias,” Barsoum said, noting that the presence of the NDF in Zalin was undesirable and they should be removed from the city.

A ceasefire between the two sides was agreed on Wednesday, and the establishment of Russian patrols to ensure implementation starting Thursday morning, but NDF fighters violated the agreement shortly after its implementation.

Clashes have resumed and fighting continues with the NDF seemingly intentionally targeting civilians. A 10-year-old boy was shot dead by the NDF and a 14-year-old-boy and 12-year-old girl were injured. Several adult civilians have also been targeted and wounded by NDF fire.

and targeted the internal security forces again at the roundabout of al-Wehda Street adjacent to the neighborhood of Tay the center of the clashes.

During yesterday’s clashes, Qahir al-Halloush, brother of Salem al-Halloush, commander of the Baath Brigades in Hasakah, was killed. There are reports of several other deaths among the ranks of the NDF but numbers are not easily verifiable.

The clashes initially began when the NDF killed and member of the ISF at a checkpoint on Tuesday evening.