News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The Turkish Radikal Gazetesi published an article today on the few remaining Syrian Army units in Qamişlo, entitled “Assad’s Last Soldiers in the Kurdish Region.” The article speaks to the current relations between Kurdish parties and the Syrian Army units still remaining in (or in the process of leaving) Kurdish controlled territory in Rojava, and the effect that the most recent fighting between the YPG and Al-Nusra has had on the pull back. Below are some excerpts of the article translated to English.
The soldiers still loyal to Assad do not go outside in order to avoid coming across units of the YPG that now control the city. Members of the YPG also avoid areas where Assad’s soldiers, who now have no real influence, are still found.
In the Eşrefiye and Şeyhmaksut neighborhoods of Aleppo, which are heavily populated by Kurds close to the PYD, locals organizing themselves around the El Ekrad front and defending their neighborhoods have given the party domination over the belt along the border with Turkey.
Kurds on the border belt with Turkey – who over the past year have organized themselves into administrative units known as People’s Houses (Kurdish: Mala Gel) in their different districts, town and villages – wanted soldiers, police and government officials still attached to Bashar al-Assad to leave the region. As Assad’s forces pulled back small-scale clashes took place in some places. Kurds expelled Assad’s forces from Syria’s important petrol fields around Rimelan Beldesi and Derika Hamko, as well as from Çilaxa, Tirpesiye, Qamişlo, Resulayn, Kobani, and Afrin. Assad’s forces were forced to abandon intelligence centers and public buildings together with everything inside.
Administrative units formed under the Kurdish National Council – itself formed from 16 Kurdish parties – are now running districts and towns in the region, while units of YPG – the KNC’s armed wing – have been deployed around villages and towns as a measure against the possibility of attack. In particular YPG units are now clashing with fighters from the Al-Nusra Front, which is attempting to take over the oil fields in Rimelan and a number of crossings on the Turkish-Syrian border.
Kurdish Public Security Personnel in Qamişlo confirmed that only a few of Assad’s soldiers still remained in the city and that they were not allowed to leave their bases. Assad has around 2,000 soldiers still remaining in the city at the border crossing and at the airport, where he is also said to have a number of armour units and helicopters.