MESOP HASSAKEH : 18 dead in clashes between Kurds and Syrian forces

19 Jan 2015 – At least 18 people have been killed in fighting between Kurdish forces and Syrian government troops in the northeastern city of Hasakeh, a monitoring group said on Sunday.The clashes, which erupted in the early hours of Saturday, were continuing for a second day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

So far, eight Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters and security police have been killed, along with nine governmental soldiers and militiamen, said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman. A woman civilian was also killed in the fighting on Saturday, the Gulf Today reported.The clashes broke out after Kurdish fighters detained around 10 governmental loyalists who were accused of seizing part of a demilitarized zone. Under a deal agreed last year, Kurdish forces control around 30 percent of the city’s Kurdish and mixed Kurdish-Arab districts, with government forces controlling most of the city’s majority-Arab neighborhoods. Certain districts are off-limits to both sides under the deal. The two sides have fought together to keep Islamic State (IS) group militants out of Hasakeh, a provincial capital of some 200,000 people, but Kurdish relations with government forces are complicated.