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Kurds end siege of government-held areas in northeast Syria

Kurdish forces in northern Syria end a weekslong siege of government-held neighborhoods in two northeastern cities, they say, two days after Kurdish fighters shot one person dead during a pro-government protest.

Local Kurdish police say in a statement they will end the siege on government-held parts of the provincial capital of Hassakeh province, also called Hassakeh, and the city of Qamishli along the border with Turkey.

Areas held by the government in Hassakeh and Qamishli are known as the security square. State institutions still function in the areas despite the fact the US-backed Kurdish-led fighters control much of the region.

The Kurds, Syria’s largest ethnic minority, carved out a semi-autonomous enclave in Syria’s north after the start of the civil war in 2011. In the area, the Kurds run their own affairs and control most of the country’s oil resources.

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