Security checkpoints paralyze movement in Syria’s Hasakah

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ARA News

Hasakah, Syria– The number of checkpoints installed by the regime security forces or the pro-regime militias of the National Defence recently increased in the city of Hasakah to even reach near the areas which fall under the control of the Kurdish military and security forces of the Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Reportedly, the militants of the National Defence have recently carried out patrols in areas controlled by the PYD-linked Kurdish forces of the Assayish and Popular Protection Uits (YPG) and which led to clashes between the two sides on the 30th of last April. The militants of the National Defence have apparently aimed at besieging the predominantly Kurdish neighbourhoods in Hasakah city by installing temporary checkpoints near these areas, amid a considerably ethnic military competition with the Kurdish forces of the PYD as the National Defence is basically constituted by members of Arab tribes.

The National Defence militants possess cars loaded with heavy weapons like Dushka or anti-aircraft guns, which they basically use as surface-to-surface missiles. According to observers, Syrian regime security chiefs who operate in northeastern Syria work to create tension between the Kurdish forces of the PYD (which work in coordination with the regime, according to rival Kurdish parties) and the Arab militants of the National Defence, to keep them under its (regime) control and to prevent any possible unity between the ethnic groups of northeastern Syria.

Several checkpoints of the National Defence militia are installed near al-Itfaiyya Square, only 100m away from the headquarter of the Assayish forces (security wing of the PYD). The militants running these checkpoints continuously stop all the vehicles and cars and demand them to pay amounts of money (200-2000 Syrian Liras) or else they are not allowed to pass.

A vehicle driver who preferred anonymity, told ARA News: “I am often compelled to pay huge amounts of money to the militants of the National Defence to allow me to pass and not to inspect the load of my vehicle.”

In his turn, a local resident said: “I don’t drive my car in the city anymore due to the existence of many checkpoints and the amount of money which I have to pay each time I pass by them.”

Members of the National Defence have also installed several other checkpoints in areas close to the University of Hasakah, demanding students to show their identity cards and documents to check whether male students have officially delayed their military service. Students are often compelled to pay small amounts of money in order to pass without problems.

Ali, a student at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities in Hasaka, told ARA News: “In order to reach the university, I have to pass through two checkpoints at least, and the militants always bother me only because there is a small scratch on my ID card.”

Many students expressed their fears that they might arrive late at the university during examinations’ period in June due to the time spent at the checkpoints. Around 45.000 students will do their exams, according to the presidency of al-Furat University in Hasakah.

Reporting by: Sipan al-Kurdi

Source: ARA News

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