Syrian Warplanes Bomb Kurdish NE for First Time in War

Kurdish YPG Slams 'Flagrant Act of Aggression'

For the first time in the five-year civil war, Syrian warplanes have bombed Kurdish forces in the northeastern city of Hasakeh. The YPG has reported at least 13 people were killed in the attacks, which they termed a “flagrant act of aggression.”

This marks a dramatic shift in the war. Syrian military forces have previously supported the Kurdish YPG in the defense of Hasakeh, with the two sides fighting joint operations against ISIS when it has attempted to take over parts of the city itself.

It is totally unclear what started this fighting, but in addition to airstrikes there are reports that government forces are shelling the city with artillery, and that there are battles on the ground. The two sides also briefly clashed back in April, when government-allied troops tried to enter Qamishli and were repelled.

The Kurds have long tried to avoid direct involvement in the civil war itself, trying to keep their territory relatively autonomous, and focusing their fighting overwhelmingly on ISIS. The YPG has avoided fighting the government to such an extent that some rebels objected to their involvement in peace talks on the grounds that they weren’t really “rebels” to begin with.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of

  • boxofvapor

    One of the salient points that is often missed is that these Kurds are not Syrian. They are recent refugees to this region and the area was actually predominantly Christian. I see many people floating the idea of giving this land to the Kurds without making any reference to the Christians and other groups who are actually on the land they have lived on for a very very long time. It’s as if many people believe so strongly that the Kurds deserve a Kurdistan that we ignore the fact that, in this area, they are actually not at home. Before any of us decide that the Kurds need a homeland we should at least consider whether they are actually at home in the first place.

    Not that I believe it’s any of our business to begin with but I do think that if we are going to take sides in a moral sense that we at least have facts to back up these ideas. The Kurds do not have some natural right to take over this part of Syria and in fact they themselves are considered invaders by the people who actually homesteaded this land. Personally I do not feel that Syria is under any obligation to allow these Kurds to take the land from the rightful owners. (The rightful owners being the people who actually homesteaded the property)

    As for the article, thanks for informing us, great stuff as always.

    I have to wonder if Assad is now Attacking the Kurds because he feels strong enough to stop them from taking lands away from the rightful Syrian owners? I do know from talking to people from Syria that they are Not happy with the thought of the Kurds taking this land.

    • M Elmaazi

      Largely misrepresented. These are Syrian Kurds. And yes, prejudice towards Kurds does run deep among many non-Kurdish Syrians.

      • Yonatan

        Kurds do themselves no favors by latching on to the US and Israel. Do they really believe the US supports them for any other reason than creating endless war in Syria and Iran? They will have Turkey to the north, Syria to the south and east, Iraq to the south west and Iran to the west all against them if they decide to go for a non-peaceful solution.

        • M Elmaazi

          ‘Latching’ on to the US and Israel?

          You clearly have absolutely no idea whatsoever of the history and context what your talking about.

          I must say that I find it particularly painful and cringworthy when people express opinions about subjects that they know next to nothing.

      • boxofvapor

        Yes there are Syria Kurds but these particular people are NOT Syrian, you do know that right?

    • Yeah, the Kurds have only been in Syria for a thousand years or so. Not nearly as long as the Assad regime.


      • boxofvapor

        Thomas you are not a bad guy but you are not helping Anti-war when you can’t get your facts straight. Yes there have been some Kurds in Syria but not this group of Kurds. Take the time and go investigate claims before saying things. Honestly it’s hard enough to get the public to take this site seriously without people repeating what they believe to be true but what isn’t.

      • boxofvapor

        Do you happen to know where these Kurds came from that you claim were there for a thousand years or so? No you clearly do not.

        Not that Wiki is the greatest source but you certainly could have went there in about ten seconds and found out before you insult a long time reader and donator, with garbage like saying Derp as if I’m the retarded one for knowing something you clearly don’t. I have to say I might think twice before donating again.

        The Assyrian Christians have been there for a thousand years. The Kurds that are there fighting have either just came there for the fighting or were refugees of the recent regional wars. Many fled there after these various wars. Mostly all of them came there since the 1970’s with most of them much more recently than that.

        If you notice only 3,000 Kurds were given protection under the law by Assad. Can you guess why it was only 3,000? Well based on your ignorance of the subject I’ll assume you do not. It’s because only 3,000 of them had been there long enough to qualify.

        By the way, I expect to be insulted by the random flyby person in the comment section. I don’t expect to be insulted by any member of the staff here and I certainly don’t expect them to show their ignorance of the topic at the same time. You really should think twice in regards to how you treat visitors to this site, your lack of professionalism is bound to end up hurting this great publication.

        • As a moderator, my professionalism has never been questioned by anyone who wasn’t whining about having to follow the guidelines here.

          As a commenter, professionalism isn’t part of the job description. I’m a commenter like everyone else.

          If you feel insulted and want to take that out on, well, that’s pretty sad and petty, but there’s nothing I can do to stop you.

          Have a great weekend.

          • And as a side note, I do apologize for the derp. That was an uncalled for personal touch to my opinion on your post.

            As far as your counter to that opinion, I confess I don’t get it, so I’m going to just acknowledge you as the winner of whatever the hell is going on there and go look for something I do get.