Commanders of the Russian military garrison stationed at the Qamishli airfield have succeeded in persuading the warring parties to stop high-intensity armed clashes in the city. Mobile groups of the Russian military police, along with the Syrian military and domestic security staff, have arranged round-the-clock patrols of most city blocks, except for the central district, which is still controlled by a well-armed detachment of the pro-American Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
One might recall that armed clashes in the city broke out on April 20 and embraced the central part first. The sharp aggravation was initiated by a group of military government domestic security forces attempting to penetrate into an area densely inhabited by the Kurds and influenced by armed groups of local militia. By the morning of April 21, hostilities involving all the types of small arms had spread to other neighborhoods. By this time, SDF's major forces that arrived at night, had almost completely displaced the numerically insignificant government force units, establishing control over some suburbs, including the civilian airport.
For the time being, Russian officers and their Syrian colleagues are engaged in vibrant negotiations with SDF command representatives. The city authorities are involved either. The Russian side insists that Qamishli and its suburbs be cleansed from SDF militants all the way through, all their detachments be withdrawn over a distance stipulated by the Russian-Turkish agreements (30 kilometers northwards) and provocative actions be ceased.
The Russian side was forced to be tough on incidental shootings in downtown Qamishli. With this objective in view, the Russian Aerospace Forces combat aircraft occasionally undertook dry low-passes over the city.
As of April 28, the SDF command's official statement read that the parties ultimately managed to agree on a cease-fire. Under the agreement, the city's southern al-Tai district remains Kurdish-controlled, with the Syrian military prohibited to approach the separation line, so as not to provoke shooting. The district's civilian population may return to their places of residence. Their security will be ensured by SDF fighters against guarantees of the Russian military police.
The separation line between control areas of the Syrian government forces and the SDF runs in close proximity to a Russian military facility at the southern edge of Qamishli.
At the same time, discontent is growing among the Hasakah Governorate's Arab population over the Kurdish dominance among the local authorities. The latter make no secret of their loyalties to the Syrian Democratic Forces and infringe upon the interests of Syrian Arabs. Amid the Qamishli developments, the village of Jermes hosted several meetings of the local province leaders guided by the central government of Syria, with Damascus representatives and commanders of the National Defense Forces. The talks yielded an adoption of a public address on the deployment of popular resistance to the Kurdish SDF.
Thus, the Russian military managed to cease the armed clashes between the Kurds and the Arabs in northern Syria. However, the agreement must be assumed as temporary allowing for its eventual violation. Government control over the city of Qamishli alone is able to provide security and peace of mind in this area.
However, the near future will unlikely witness the American command to allow settling of the situation here, but it will use the Qamishli instability to spread hotbeds of tension to other areas, primarily to disrupt the presidential election.