The Hassakeh governorate has been experiencing heightened tensions since Tuesday evening, with clashes erupting between the Syrian army and the National Defense Forces (NDF). These clashes were triggered by the Syrian army’s encirclement of NDF Commander Abdul Qader Hamo’s headquarters, situated in the al-Qudat neighbourhood at the heart of Hassakeh. The army’s objective was to arrest Hammo and remove him from his position within the security apparatus.
Reports from Athr Press sources have confirmed that intermittent clashes have persisted since Tuesday evening, with plumes of smoke observed rising from Hammo’s residence in Hassakeh. These sources also suggest that the army is nearing the conclusion of its operation, which is intended to transfer Hammo to Damascus. It should be noted that the presence of civilians in the vicinity of Hammo’s headquarters has impeded the army’s efforts.
During the clashes on the previous evening, the NDF detonated several explosive devices in an attempt to hinder the army’s advance toward the headquarters. Mortar shells were also fired, with one landing in the Salhiya neighbourhood and the other in the Ghwayran neighbourhood. Fortunately, these incidents did not result in casualties.
According to the Health Directorate in Hassakeh, the current toll from the clashes includes one member of the Syrian army killed, four others wounded (including a captain), and six civilians injured, among them a child.
Due to this escalation of violence, local schools in the area were cancelled on Wednesday, and examinations scheduled in the faculties of al-Furat University in Hassakeh have been postponed, with a rescheduled date yet to be determined.
The origins of this conflict are traced back to a dispute that arose in August between the Jabour tribe and NDF Commander Abdul Qader Hamo. The dispute stemmed from Hamo’s attack on a prominent member of the tribe, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Muhammad Ahmed al-Meslet. This incident created a state of tension and alarm among members of the Jabour tribe in the governorate, prompting threats to storm the NDF headquarters due to the perceived insult to the tribe’s dignity. In response, the NDF Command removed Hamo from his post and appointed his deputy as his replacement. However, the tribe continued to demand Hamo’s removal from his security position and his accountability in Damascus. Hamo, in turn, did not adhere to the dismissal decision and remained in Hassakeh.
COMMENT FROM THE OBSERVER
The National Defense Forces (NDF)” is a pro-regime paramilitary force in Syria that played a significant role in the Syrian civil war. The NDF was originally formed to protect government-held neighborhoods and major cities in Syria, such as Damascus, as the conflict intensified in 2012. Over time, it evolved and expanded its role, becoming an auxiliary force working alongside the Syrian military.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.