Above: The GPF and Sotoro training academy in Zalin (Qamishli), Syria. Copyright 2015, Jeff Gardner

April 21, 2016

Urgent Update!

In an update concerning the ongoing fighting in Zalin (Qamishli), Restore Nineveh Now Foundation (RNNF) has just spoken with  Ashur, the Military Spokesman for the GPF, concerning the situation in Zalin and especially the city’s Assyrian Christian neighborhoods.

Ashur, who is presently pinned by non-stop gunfire and shelling in the Assyrian neighborhood of al-Gharbie, said that they have been under constant attack since yesterday.

“There is no doubt that the Kurdish YPG started the fighting,” Ashur told RNNF.

This latest YPG attack seems designed to subject the Assyrian residence of Zalin to a Kurdish, separatist ambition. As evidence, Ashur reported to RNNF that YPG and Asayish forces attacked and attempted to overrun the GPF/Sotoro training academy in Zalin.

“They have been attacking our academy, but I do not believe that they have taken it. Why would they do this if they did not want to conquer us? The GPF had stayed out of the fighting until they attacked us first.”

Currently the GPF is fighting against the YPG and  Asayish forces, but Ashur could not say how many, if any, casualties there might be at this time.

That the YPG and Asayish forces started the latest conflict follows a theme highlighted in a concurrent RT article which notes that the YPG and Asayish initiated the attack in part as retribution for not being asked to the recently-failed Geneva peace talks. The YPG have already declared a de facto Marxist-Kurdish State in Syria, calling it Rojava, which is not recognised by any other group or nation.

It certainly seems that the YPG and Asayish are determined to force the city’s Assyrian residents (at least) to submit to their rule.

“We have been without electricity and water for the past 18 hours,” Ashur told RNNF. “It’s getting really tough.” When asked how the nearly 200,000 residents of Zalin could live without water, Ashur merely replied, “They can’t.”

Restore Nineveh Now Foundation will continue to monitor the fighting in Zalin and bring you the latest conflict, as events unfold.




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