World Bulletin/News Desk
Syrian Kurds battled on Saturday with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, Kurdish sources and a monitoring group said, breaking a longstanding tacit agreement between the two sides to focus on other enemies in a complex civil war.
In Syria's predominantly Kurdish northeast, Assad's forces and Kurdish militia, mainly the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), have for the most part coexisted without clashing, focusing their firepower on the ISIL insurgent group.
However, violence broke out when army soldiers and allied militiamen took control of buildings in an area that both sides had agreed would stay demilitarised, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
"There has been some serious fighting today. The PYD (the political wing of the YPG) arrested 10 soldiers and Baath party gunmen," Observatory head Rami Abdulrahman told Reuters.
"There is now fighting in many areas of Hassakeh."
The YPG and the government had divided Hassakeh into zones in a power sharing agreement, the Observatory said.
The army shelled three Kurdish-majority areas on the edges of Hassakeh city, and fighters from YPG clashed with Syrian forces inside the city throughout the day, the YPG said on its website.
Syrian Kurds, who say they suffered years of marginalisation under Assad, had on occasion fought with the president's loyalists in territorial disputes, but never in sustained clashes.
Kurdish activists posted photos showing smoking rising from buildings and YPG fighters raising the Syrian Kurdistan flag in areas said to be taken from government forces.
Syrian officials were not immediately available for comment and state media did not mention the clashes. A spokesman for the YPG was not available.
Damascus has promoted its ties with the Kurds, saying that it provides military support to Kurdish forces to help them battle ISIL, although the PYD denies that it cooperates with the central government.
During the three-year war in Syria, Kurds have asserted control in parts of the northeast where their community predominates.
There were smaller scale clashes in May between Assad loyalists and Kurds in Hassakeh that were contained.
Around 200,000 people have been killed since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, according to the United Nations.
Iraq suffers from acute financial crisis due to dropped oil prices and anti-terrorism expenses
Thousands of supporters poured into the streets of the capital island Male on Friday night and continued their protest rally till early Saturday, the joint opposition said in a statement issued in Colombo.
Also suspended were the accounts of its parent organization, Strategic Communication Laboratories, as well as those of University of Cambridge psychologist Aleksandr Kogan and Christopher Wylie, who runs Eunoia Technologies.
Andrew McCabe was accused of misleading investigators on Clinton Foundation corruption case
Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell told reporters after talks with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday that the U.S. also wants to see a resumption of talks to reunify the ethnically divided island nation.
"There were seven people aboard, they are all believed to be dead," the official said, adding they were US service members.
A doctor at the private Goyal Hospital told AFP Friday that Clinton had undergone screening after suffering pain in her right hand following a fall.
The alliance is "dealing with the issue around this and in cyber and working to define an understanding of what would be a trigger for Article 5," General Curtis Scaparrotti, the commander of NATO forces in Europe, told a US Senate committee.
Speaking to reporters as he returned from a trip to Oman, Afghanistan and Bahrain, Mattis said officials he met with had expressed frequent concerns about Iranian behavior.
The newspaper said that Trump is discussing potential replacements for McMaster, but is willing to take his time because he wants to avoid humiliating him as well as to have a successor ready.
19 individuals, 5 entities blacklisted by Washington
Saeb Erekat slams recent White House meeting on Gaza's deteriorating humanitarian situation
Salim al-Jabouri says Turkey and Iraq will defeat terrorism together through 'full cooperation'
Oil is the lifeblood of OPEC member Venezuela's economy, but a major wave of political unrest that shows no sign of abating has slashed output.