ASIA/SYRIA - A predominantly Christian city bombed by Islamist rebels. Armed truce in Qamishli between the Kurdish militias and pro-Assad army

Monday, 25 April 2016 wars  


Hama (Agenzia Fides) - Islamist militias linked to Al Qaeda Jabhat al Nusra Front group launched an attack with mortars on the Syrian city of Sqelbiya, a predominantly Christian city, in the central province of Hama on Sunday, April 24, killing at least four civilians. This is what Kurdish sources consulted by Agenzia Fides report. The attack took place with the launching of mortar shells on residential neighborhoods. The city, under government control of the army, already in the past had suffered attacks by the jihadist militants, that had tried to take it over several times, without ever succeeding.
Meanwhile, in the northeastern Syrian province of Hassaké the truce between the government and Kurdish militiamen of the Popular Army Security Unit (YPG) continues, reached last Saturday after the bloody clashes erupted on Wednesday, April 20 especially in the city of Qamishli (vdi Fides 21/04/2016). Representatives of the Kurdish militias, interviewed by ARA News agency, reaffirmed their intention to maintain control of the conquered areas during the fighting, and the refusal to make any concession to the government in Assad. The same Kurdish leaders have accused the regime of forcing local civilian populations to create paramilitary groups of "self-defense" subjected to the army government. The opening of a new front of conflict between Kurdish militias and the army of Assad in northeastern Syria confirms that behind the Syrian tragedy there are complex strategies and interests. According to local sources, the three days of clashes between the Kurdish militia and the army government, 17 civilians, 10 Kurdish militants and 31 between government and pro regime paramilitary soldiers were killed. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 25/04/2016)

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