PYD, Assad regime forces declare truce in northern Syria

PYD, Syrian regime forces declare truce in northern Syrian town of Qamishli after three days of fighting

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Syrian regime forces surrender themselves to PYD in the city of Qamishli, Syria April 21, 2016.

Syrian regime forces and PYD have declared a ceasefire in northeastern Syrian town of Qamishli to end a three-day outbreak of fighting which killed at least 26 people.

PYD, the Syrian wing of PKK terrorist organisation, said in a statement that the accord took effect at 3:30 pm (1230 GMT) on Friday and a Reuters witness said the truce was holding on Saturday.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group tracking the five-year-old war in Syria, said it did not appear that PYD forces had withdrawn since the start of the truce from any recently-gained territory.

During the fighting, PYD seized control of a number of regime-controlled positions in the city of Qamishli, in Hasaka province, as well as its main prison.

PYD and forces loyal to Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad have mostly avoided fighting each other, and at times cooperated against the Syrian opposition forces since Syria’s civil war began in 2011.

Qamishli, near the Turkish border, is mostly controlled by PYD, though pro-Assad forces still hold a few areas in the city centre, and its airport.

PYD controls wide areas of northern Syria.

Five years of fighting made Syria a patchwork of areas controlled by the regime, opposition groups, DAESH, and PYD.

Mediators have struggled to get Syria's warring parties to honour a Feb. 27 cessation of hostilities deal to enable peace talks to proceed.

On Friday, the UN special envoy for Syria vowed to take the talks into next week despite a walkout by the main opposition with both sides gearing up to escalate the war.

TRTWorld and agencies