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Security still high in al-Hasakah after string of IS bombings

The Asayish (Kurdish police loyal to the PYD) in Al-Hasakah […]

30 September 2015

The Asayish (Kurdish police loyal to the PYD) in Al-Hasakah issued a statement on Tuesday lifting a ban on the entry of vehicles into the northeast province’s cities and towns that had been in place for nearly two weeks following a series of Islamic State bombings in the provincial capital, earlier this month.

Increased security measures that remain in place restrict entry into al-Hasakah’s cities to motorcycles and vehicles registered with the PYD’s Transportation Directorate, and require increased documentation for commercial trucks, Kurdish ARA News reported.

The task of protecting cities under dual administration, like Al-Hasakah, from IS incursions is made more difficult by the lack of a unified front from security forces, Raman Yousef, a Kurdish activist and director of the Al-Hasakah is Being Slaughtered Silently media campaign says.

“Some breaches occur because those protecting the city’s security are not a single body,” he tells Noura Hourani.

Q: In your opinion, will these measures prevent IS from committing more bombings?

IS has the ability to carry out bombings despite increased security measures because it has sleeper cells that can reach any area.

However, this does not prevent [local authorities] from developing plans and alternatives in an attempt to control such infiltrations.

Unfortunately, most of the cars have gone into [Al-Hasakah] cities and blown up had security numbers and driver identities, or had numbers from the Directorate of Agriculture.

Some breaches occur because those protecting the city’s security are not a single body, but rather multiple bodies: the regime, the YPG and the NDF.

Q: The statement said that registered motorcycles with license plates would be allowed to enter the city, what about unregistered motorcycles? How are people responding to this decision?

Unregistered motorcycles will not enter the city, because they have been used in many bombings. Even registered motorbikes and cars will be confiscated if they are parked in any public space.

People have welcomed the decision because most motorcycle owners are from the YPG and the NDF, and to a lesser degree villagers and the working class.

Q: What is the situation of cars that must be sponsored in order to enter the city?

There are many vehicles that enter from outside the province, most of which are commercial and contain products. The owner of these vehicles should present documentation showing ownership of the goods, which must be received in the presence of the owner and the trader.

The type of truck, its weight, the exporter and the importer must be known.

Small cars with regime license plates move about in a natural way [e.g. inspection of drivers’ licenses and vehicles’ contents].

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