Syrian forces, Kurds agree to indefinite truce in Qamishli


A member of the Kurdish Asayish forces inspects the Alaya prison in the northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on April 22, 2016. © AFP

The Syrian government and regional Kurdish forces have reportedly declared a ceasefire deal in northeast , following three days of deadly clashes in the city of Qamishli.
According to a Friday statement by the Kurdish Asayish forces, the accord took effect at 3:30 pm (1230 GMT) on Friday.  
Qamishli, which is close to the border with Turkey, was the scene of deadly fighting between the two sides for the past three days, which left 26 people dead.
During the fighting, Asayish forces took control of a number of government-controlled positions in Qamishli as well as its main prison.
The Friday statement said that both sides of the conflict agreed to an indefinite truce as talks are underway to find a permanent settlement to the dispute.
“We will be committed to the truce until an appropriate solution is found,” the statement added.

Kurdish forces take position during clashes with Syrian government troops in the northwestern Syrian town of Qamishli on April 20, 2016. © AFP

Syrian Kurdish groups now control wide areas of northern Syria where they are seeking their own government. Their quest for an autonomous political federation in the northern Arab country has angered Damascus.
The truce between Damascus and regional Kurds comes amid the ongoing battle against militants in the Arab country.
On Friday, the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, said some 400,000 people have lost their lives as a result of more than five years of conflict gripping the Arab country.
The UN envoy’s figure was close to a February calculation by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, which said the crisis in the Middle Eastern state has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Damascus says Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar are the main supporters of the militants fighting the government forces.

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