Qamishli, Syria− On Saturday evening, two explosions rocked the city of Qamishlo/Qamishli, where Kurds form a majority of the population, north-east Syria. The first explosion targeted a checkpoint of pro-Assad forces near Duar Zore neighbourhood, west of the city, while the other took place near a building where Kurdish security forces of Asayish were stationed, in Qanat Swes neighbourhood, east of Qamishlo.
Dozens of casualties were reported due to the explosions, beside a large damage in both neighbourhoods. Sources said that among the bombings casualties were civilians.
“Qamishlo has never seen such massive explosions. All residents of the city are frightened after Saturday’s incidents,” an eyewitness told ARA News.
Activists in the city accused Islamic groups to stand behind Qamishlo’s explosions, since both pro-regime forces and Kurdish forces (loyal to the Democratic Union Party PYD) have been targeted.
Kawa Muhammed, a Kurdish activist in the neighbourhood of Qanat Swes in Qamishlo/Qamishli, confirmed to ARA News that two members of the Asayish (PYD security arm) and three civilians were killed during the explosion in Qanat Swes.
“A suicide bomber was driving a vehicle of fuel tanker and bomber himself and the vehicle at the entrance of the Asayish building to leave as large damage as possible,” said Muhammed in a phone call with ARA News from the explosion’s location. “Such operations bear the imprints of al-Qaeda-linked groups that exist currently in Syria’s Kurdish area.”
Duar Zore, where the largest pro-Assad checkpoint was installed months ago, was also targeted by apparently similar party that carried out Qanat Swes bombing the same day. Duar Zore contains the main road that leads from Qamishli to Aleppo and Hasakah.
Due to the security blockade to the neighbourhood right after the explosion, no information was reported on the number of casualties in Duar Zore.
Residents of Duar Zore emphasized that a number of the pro-Assad forces were killed during the explosion, “but they are trying to conceal the news”.
The al-Qaeda affiliated group the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) adopted Qamishlo’s bombings in a statement on Sunday.
In a linked development, the Kurdish village of Tel Marouf in eastern Qamishlo was also targeted by the same group. Activists said that a ISIS-led explosion, “similar to those in Qamishlo”, took place in Tel Marouf.
A military training center of the Kurdish YPG forces −military wing of the PYD− is located in southern Tel Marouf.
“Apparently, the suicider was trying to enter the YPG center before his vehicle (a tractor) exploded,” a resident of Tel Marouf village said. “A number of victims fell due to the explosion, most of them are civilians,” he said.
Since February 2013, the Kurdish forces (Asayish and YPG) are involved in clashes with al-Qaeda affiliated groups of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, north and north-east of Syria. Hundreds were killed during the clashes, while the growing violence forced thousands of Kurdish families to leave their homes and resort to neighbouring countries, mainly to Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan.
Reporting by: Ahamd Shiwesh and Miran Qamishlo
Source: ARA News
(Editing by: Adib Abdulmajid. Translation by: Abdul Ilah Ibrahim)
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