April 20, 2016


Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF), which works closely with Assyrian groups in Syria, has been informed by its contacts there that fighting has broken out between the Kurdish YPG, their secret police the Asayish, and a local, pro-Syrian militia. In what is perhaps a move to seize control of the cities of Hasakah and Zalin (Qamishli), Syria, YPG forces have exchanged fire with a pro-Syrian militia, first in Hasakah, and now, as of 04/20/2016, in Zalin.

Additionally, as part of their grab for territory, YPG militia kidnapped three unarmed Assyrians in Zalin, two of whom are members of the Gozarto Protection Forces (GPF) and the other a member of Sotoro, an Assyrian police force. The YPG, is so tightly aligned with the terrorist group, the Kurdish Workers’ Party or the PKK, that some say they are one in the same. The YPG and PKK are hard-core Marxist organizations with long histories of terror and brutality, and they have already declared a de facto Marxist-Kurdish State in Syria, calling it Rojava.

As of this reporting, at least a dozen people are dead in Zalin, Syria, victims of YPG cross-fire in an open air market.

RNNF spoke by phone to Ashur, the military spokesman for the GPF, and asked him about the fighting and the fate of the three kidnapped men. As we spoke we could hear the sounds of gunfire.

RNNF: When did the fighting start and who started it?

Ashur: It started at about 10:30 AM yesterday in Hasakah, and then the fighting spread to Zalin today. We do not know why it started, the YPG it seems has attacked a group that works with the government. We don't know how the shooting started, but the YPG and the Asayish have been harassing other groups, even kidnapping them and forcing them to serve in the YPG.

RNNF: It that gunfire that we are hearing, what is going on?

Ashur: Yes, there is a YPG sniper in front of my building.

RNNF: Well, stay away from the windows.

Ashur: Yes, of course, I will.

RNNF: Is the GPF involved in the fighting?

Ashur: Not at this time. But yesterday the YPG and Asayish kidnapped two GPF and one Sotoro members who were off-duty - pulled them off the street. The GPF has informed the YPG that if the men are not released by midnight tonight the GPF will be forced to involve itself in the conflict.  

RNNF: Do you believe that the YPG and the Kurds are harming the possibility for a peaceful, unified Syria?

Ashur: Yes, without question. They are trying to intimidate us and provoke further conflict. They want to separate northern Syria and join with Kurds in Turkey and Iraq. If they try such a move, it will be a disaster for the region.

RNNF: Is there anything else that the GPF would like people in the United States to know about conditions in Northern Syria?

Ashur: Yes, we (Assyrians) need the US to put pressure on the Kurds to stop their territorial ambitions, focus on defeating ISIS and building a shared, multi-ethnic, multi-regional peace in Syria.

Restore Nineveh Now Foundation will report more about this latest conflict as events unfold.



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