ZALIN, Syria — Violent clashes erupted between the Internal Security Forces (ISF) of North and East Syria and the Syrian regime-aligned National Defense Forces (NDF) in Zalin (Qamishli) again last night following the breaking of a ceasefire by the latter. It was the third ceasefire broken by the NDF in as many days.
The clashes ended after the ISF pushed the NDF completely out of the Tayy neighborhood which was the scene of most of the fighting.
On Sunday night, after days of clashes sparked by the killing of a member of the Asayîş — a police force making up the bulk of the ISF — by members of the NDF during a routine checkpoint stop, Russian forces intervened to play a mediating role between the two parties and end the fighting that led to the displacement of civilians from the neighborhood. Following the meeting, the ISF Media Center issued a statement confirming that, with the guarantee of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Russian forces, a permanent truce was agreed upon. The statement also mentioned the possibility of the neighborhood’s people returning to their homes the following morning.
However, a few hours after the agreement, the NDF violated the truce, attacking ISF checkpoints stationed near a school in the Halko neighborhood adjacent to the Tayy neighborhood. The ISF responded to the sources of fire and violent clashes erupted between the two sides.
During the fighting, an attempt to assassinate Sheikh Hassan Farhan al-Tai was made when NDF fighters open fire on his car in the Halko neighborhood. Sheikh al-Tai, along with other tribal leaders, called for the end of confrontations.
Following a meeting of Arab tribal leaders on Thursday to de-escalate the fighting, NDF fighters assassinated Sheikh Hayes al-Jaryan of the Bani Sabaa tribe.
Throughout the clashes, the NDF has repeatedly targeted civilians and indiscriminately shelled civilian areas. A 10-year-old boy, Muhammad Mahmud, was killed on Thursday and a 14-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl were injured by NDF fire. The NDF also fired several mortars at densely populated civilian areas in the Halko and Tayy neighborhoods damaging civilian property.
Co-Chair of the Syriac Union Party (SUP) Nazira Goreya told SuroyoTV that the encroachments taking place in the neighborhoods of Zalin are an attempt to pit the component peoples of the region against one another to damage the project of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA).
Goreya called for an end to the ongoing attempts by the Syrian regime to undermine security in the areas government by the DAA. These attempts, Goreya stressed, are pointless as the people in North and East will not end their project until the people of Syria can live in a democracy based on universal rights.