Civilians injured in fighting between Syrian forces and NDF in Hesekê

In Hesekê, seven civilians, including a five-year-old girl, were injured in fighting between Syrian government forces and the Difa al-Watani militia (NDF).

In Hesekê, seven civilians were injured in fighting between Syrian government troops and the Difa al-Watani (also known as National Defence Forces, or NDF for short). The injured civilians, including a 25-year-old woman and her five-year-old daughter as well as two men aged 50 and 31, were admitted to different hospitals in the city.

Part of the northern Syrian city of Hesekê is under the control of the Assad regime. Due to the fighting that broke out early on Wednesday morning in a neighborhood controlled by the government in Damascus, many people are seeking refuge in the areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). Heavy weapons were reportedly used in the fighting.

The NDF is actually a militia of the Syrian regime. In mid-August, clashes broke out in Hesekê after the local NDF commander Abdul Qadir Hamo physically attacked Sheikh Abdul Aziz Muhammad al-Meslet, a leader of the Jubur tribe, and his nephew. The members of the tribe then took to the streets and demanded Hamo's extradition by the Syrian government. Government troops later seized NDF posts. Since then, there has been tension between the two parties in government-controlled neighbourhoods. In a widely circulated video, Hamo called on his militiamen to attack government forces until they are handed back their posts in Hesekê. "You are not soldiers of the state. The state is your enemy," the NDF commander told his militiamen.