Truce in Hasakeh? Kurds deny a deal was reached

Syria's military says a truce deal was reached with the Kurds in the city of Hasakeh, while Kurdish source says talks are still ongoing.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Kurdish YPG fighters battle ISIS in Hasakeh, Syria
Kurdish YPG fighters battle ISIS in Hasakeh, Syria

Syria's military said on Sunday a truce deal had been reached with the Kurds in the flashpoint city of Hasakeh, but a Kurdish source denied the report and said a deal has yet to be finalized.

The northeastern city has been rocked by deadly clashes between U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since Wednesday.

Late last week, the coalition scrambled fighters to protect U.S. advisers working with Kurdish forces after Syrian regime jets bombed the area.

In a bid to calm tensions, a delegation of Russian officials from the coastal Hmeimim military airport arrived in the nearby city of Qamishli on Saturday for talks with the two sides.

A Syrian military source told AFP the deal was struck between regime forces and Kurdish fighters after two days of mediation by regime ally Russia.

The three-point agreement calls for a "halt to all hostilities and the return to regime forces of any positions seized by Kurdish fighters" since Wednesday, the Syrian military source said.

It also stipulates that casualties would be transferred north to Qamishli.

The military source said additional negotiations would take place on Monday.

However, a Kurdish military source told AFP from Hasakeh that none of the three points had been agreed.

"No agreement has been reached on a ceasefire or the return of positions to the regime," said the source, who declined to be named, stressing that more negotiations are due on Monday.

Earlier a source from the Hasakeh governorate said a delegation of Russian officials and members of the pro-regime militia National Defense Forces (NDF) had arrived at Qamishli airport for a meeting to take place on Monday.

Clashes in the region erupted last week after Kurds demanded the NDF be dismantled in Hasakeh, and violence escalated on Thursday when regime warplanes bombarded Kurdish-held positions in the city for the first time.

Regime aircraft overflew the city on Sunday morning but without carrying out attacks, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Since Wednesday, the fighting has left 43 people dead including 27 civilians, among them 11 children, according to the Britain-based Observatory.

Thousands of civilians have fled Hasakeh, where electricity has been cut and bakeries shut.

In the northern province of Aleppo, the scene of heavy clashes all month between government forces and rebels allied with jihadists, 28 civilians were among 38 people killed Saturday in strikes by the regime and its Russian allies, the Observatory said.

More than 290,000 people have been killed since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011, and millions have been forced to flee their homes.

AFP contributed to this report.