Battle of Qamishli (April 2016)

The Battle of Qamishli (April 2016) was a violent urban battle between the paramilitary police of the Asayish and the pro-government National Defence Forces in the city of Qamishli, Syria.

Battle of Qamishli (April 2016)
Part of the Rojava conflict and the Syrian Civil War

Top: Asayish forces during the clashes
Bottom: Strategic view of Qamishli, before the clashes occurred
Date20–22 April 2016
(2 days)


  • Kurdish forces capture the besieged Allaya Prison[2][3]


Syrian Arab Republic[6]

Commanders and leaders
Heval Redur[10]
(Asayish commander)
Casualties and losses
16 killed[11] 22–31 killed,[12][1] 80–102 captured[12][10]
17–23 civilians killed[12]

The battle

On 20 April 2016, National Defence Forces militias attacked an Asayish patrol when Kurdish police failed to stop at a government checkpoint inside the Qamishli District.[13] According to Kurdish sources the NDF killed 2 Asayish members and 2 civilians with sniper fire.[4] Additional clashes then escalated between the two factions, with Asayish forces taking part in the fighting, killing 8 NDF members and arresting others.

The next day, the Asayish encircled government forces in the center of the city, taking over a bakery and the besieged Allaya Prison, with five Asayish fighters being killed.[14][2] 45 NDF militiamen surrendered and several civilians were killed.[15][3] During the battle Asayish forces removed a poster of Bashar al-Assad in captured areas.[2] In response, the Syrian Army shelled the prison and surrounding areas with mortars, killing 4 civilians in the nearby neighborhoods. On the same day, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claimed a car bomb attack that killed and wounded 15 Kurdish fighters in the city.[8] In the evening, the NDF and Sootoro reversed some of Asayish's gains and captured two checkpoints, a stadium, and a hospital in the city.[7][16]

An indefinite ceasefire was declared on 22 April. According to the ceasefire agreement, each side will keep the territory under its control. The ceasefire gave the Kurds control of more territory in Northern Syria.[3][1][17]


Nearly two dozen of the captured pro-government fighters were subsequently released under the terms of the ceasefire on 25 April.[18]

See also


  1. "Regime, Kurds agree to indefinite truce in northeast Syria city". Mail Online. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  2. "Two days of bloodshed in Qamishli as Kurds battle regime forces". Syria:direct. 21 April 2016. Archived from the original on 22 December 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  3. Owen, Tess (24 April 2016). "Qamishli Ceasefire Gives Kurds More Territory in Northern Syria | VICE News". VICE News. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. "Clashes erupt between Syrian regime and Kurdish forces in Qamishli". ARA News. 20 April 2016.
  5. "Ceasefire declared in Qamishlo". Firat News Agency. 23 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  6. "From the Frontlines of Assad's Strike on the Kurds". The Daily Beast. 22 April 2016.
  7. "Government, Assyrian forces capture more territory from Kurdish troops in Qamishli". Al-Masdar News. 22 April 2016.
  8. "Syrian regime forces bomb Kurdish city of Qamishli amid raging clashes". ARA News. 22 April 2016.
  9. "50 NDF soldiers surrender to Kurds in Qamishli as clashes enter day three". Al-Masdar News. 22 April 2016.
  10. "Ceasefire reached between Kurds and Assad regime following heavy clashes in Qamislo".ARA News. 23 April 2016.
  11. "89 قضوا أمس بينهم 27 عنصراً من قوات النظام والمسلحين الموالين لها، و31 استشهدوا جراء قصف جوي وسقوط قذائف وطلقات نارية وانفجارات وتحت التعذيب وظروف أخرى | المرصد السورى لحقوق الإنسان". (in Arabic). 2 May 2016.
  12. Kurdish forces to keep territory taken from Syrian govt forces under Qamishli truce
  13. Fadel, Leith (20 April 2016). "Clashes erupt between Syrian government and Kurdish forces in Qamishli". Al-Masdar News. Archived from the original on 6 May 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  14. "Battle between Syrian government, Kurdish force kills 26: Kurdish official". 21 April 2016. Archived from the original on 11 June 2017. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  15. "Kurdish, Syrian government forces declare truce in Qamishli area: statement". Reuters. 23 April 2016. Archived from the original on 10 May 2017. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  16. "Silence in al-Qamishli after violent clashes". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 22 April 2016. Archived from the original on 22 September 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  17. Fadel, Leith (22 April 2016). "Breaking: Government, Kurdish leadership declare truce in Qamishli". Al-Masdar News. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  18. Fadel, Leith (25 April 2016). "Kurdish, government forces exchange prisoners in Qamishli". Al-Masdar News. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2017.

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