KurdWatch, August 26, 2016—On August 18, 2016 in al‑Hasakah, the Syrian air force bombed several positions held by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG). Prior to this there had been heavy fighting between the National Defense Army, loyal to the regime, and the YPG. Thousands of civilians fled the city. According to media reports, the US military is said to have told the Syrian regime to remove its airplanes from the airspace over al‑Hasakah. A spokesperson for the Pentagon told Reuters that the US‑led coalition sent fighter jets to al‑Hasakah to protect the coalition’s ground troops.
Syrian state media blamed the Asayiş, the PYD’s security service, for provoking the confrontations. The governor of al‑Hasakah is quoted as saying that the Syrian army supposedly supplied the YPG with weapons in order to fight the jihadists. One did not expect them to be used against the army.
The current tensions began after the YPG told the regime militia at the beginning of the month to clear out of the areas under YPG control [further information].