Assyrians and Kurds clash for first time in north Syria

By Diana Al Rifai | Al Jazeera

Several people have been killed in rare clashes between Assyrian Christians and Kurds in Syria’s al-Hasakah province, Al Jazeera has learnt.

The province in the northeast of the country is divided and in parts controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Kurds and Assyrians.

Assyrian and Kurdish sources said there were casualties among fighters in the battle between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Assyrians in the city of Qamishli on Tuesday.

“The city of Qamishli is controlled by Assyrians, but surrounded by Kurdish fighters. The Assyrians were trying to set up checkpoints and were fired at by the Kurds,” Afram Yakoub, the chairman of the Assyrian Federation of Sweden, which monitors news related to Assyrians across the region, told Al Jazeera.

He said at least one Assyrian and eight Kurdish fighters were killed.