Qamishli (Agenzia Fides) - The city of Qamishli, in the northeastern Syrian region of Jazira, has been since yesterday the scene of intense armed clashes between Kurdish militias and army forces loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad. This was confirmed to Agenzia Fides by Archbishop Syrian Catholic Jacques Behnan Hindo. "The clashes - refers Mgr. Hindo, at the head of the Catholic Syro archeparchy of Hassakè-Nisibi - occurred yesterday with violence and unfortunately these clashes increase the level of tension compared to accidents and skirmishes recorded so far between the army of Assad and Kurdish militia of the People's protection Units (YPG). There were deaths, but the exact number is not known. Some say three, some say five, others eight. This morning a series of Kalashnikov were also heard in the city center, close to the Syrian Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul. It means that maybe this is just the beginning of a new front of conflict, destined not to end soon". Latest updates report that alongside government soldiers also militia members "Sotoro" are involved in the armed clashes.
Local sources said that the most bitter clashes were reported in the airport area and close to the headquarters of the troops of Damascus. The city is divided in areas controlled by the army loyal to Bashar Assad and areas patrolled by Kurdish militias. The re-opening of a new front in northeastern Syria which is predominantly Kurdish confirms that behind the Syrian tragedy there are complex strategies and interests, which cannot be reduced to clashes with the jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh). Archbishop Hindo confirms "those belonging to Daesh are not here. The closest jihadist garrisons are at least sixty kilometers from Hassaké. Yet shooting and people who die continues". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 21/04/2016)