Syrian rebels clash with Assad forces near Qamishli

17-07-2013

 

ARA News

Qamishli, Syria − The north-eastern city of Qamishli −the largest city in the Hasakah province, mainly populated by Kurds− witnesses fierce battles in its southern suburb between the Syrian regime’s forces and battalions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) since more than a month.

After constant attempts by the FSA’s fighters to enter the Kurdish areas in late 2012, specifically in the city of Sere Kanyeh / Ras Al-Ain, a lot of FSA groups sought to what they called “Liberation” of Hasakah province, and imposed their control over different towns and villages around main cities in the area, as in Tel Hamis and the southern suburb of Qamishli −Shaddadi and other surrounding areas.

The armed battalions of the FSA made several attempts to storm Qamishli in order to take over the city. According to sources from the National Hospital of Qamishli, the last ambush was made by some FSA fighters against militias of “the National Defense Army” of the Syrian regime on the road between Qamishli and the town of Tel Hamis −(Kharab Asker village, Abu Qasayib, Albajaria barrier)− resulting in dozens of casualties among the Syrian regime forces. Sources told ARA News that among the casualties was the son of a leader of “the National Defense Army”, Kamal Youssef Abdullah.

Recently, the city of Qamishli saw intensive movements by the regime’s forces that shelled on the airport area and 154 Regiment towards towns and villages in the southern areas of the city, as well as air strikes launched by pro-Assad forces’ helicopters targeting the strongholds of the armed opposition in the region.

After several attempts by ARA News to receive information regarding the incidents in the southern suburb of the city, a close source to the FSA battalions −preferred to stay anonymous− said that some battalions worked within a planned operation “to Liberate villages southern Qamishli” −that are still under the control of the pro-Assad’s National Army, adding that the rebels will receive more support from other areas in the country in order to carry out its operation “efficiently”.

Activists told ARA News last week that several opposition armed groups −stationed momentarily in Tel Hamis town− were intending to enter the city of Qamishli, but didn’t succeed.

Although the anti-regime activists in the Hasakah province were involved in the Syrian revolution since its first days, March 2011, the area did not see devastating crackdown by the regime forces, comparing to other regions in Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100 thousand Syrians have been killed since the start of the 26-month-old war in Syria, with an estimation of 5000 casualties every month.

 

Report by: Miran Qamishlo

Source: ARA News

 

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