The assassination of an Arab tribal leader has inflamed the ongoing clashes between the pro-government National Defense Forces (NDF) and Asayish, the security wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), within the al-Qamishli city in northeastern Syria.
The leader, Hayis Al-Jaryan, was shot and killed by a sniper a few minutes only after leaving a tribal meeting with NDF leaders in Tayy district on April 23. Heavy clashes have been taking place in the district for three days now.
Al-Jaryan, a prominent leader of the Bani Sab’a tribe, was taking part in efforts meant to broker a ceasefire agreement in al-Qamishli.
Asayish accused the NDF of assassinating al-Jaryan, who was a supporter of the SDF. However, opposite accusations were made by Tayy tribe against Kurdish forces.
As a result of the assassinations, the clashes returned. Asayish launched a new attack on NDF fighters in Tayy district. By the morning, Kurdish fighters captured Fadel Hassan and Ibn Sina schools in the district.
A day earlier, a delegation of the Russian Military Police and the Syrian Arab Army visited the frontlines in Tayy and met with officers from Asayish. A ceasefire was brokered. However, it collapsed within a few hours.
The SDF is taking advantage of the conflict to strengthen its influence in al-Qamishli. The conflict is being promoted as a struggle against the regime, while Kurdish forces are in fact facing local Arab tribesmen who are defending their own homes.
As for now, the clashes are still limited to Tayy district. However, the situation may soon spin out of control. Arab tribes in northeastern Syria are not so enthusiastic about the SDF ongoing attack on Tayy tribesmen.
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