Yesterday, starting around 9:30 PM, three Assyrian Christian resturants were bombed in the Christian quarter of the city of Zaline (Qamishli), Syria.
The three restaurants were, by name, the Miami, The Gabriel and the Masaa, which is Arabic for “evening.”
AMO spoke directly to Ashur, the military spokesman for the Gozarto Protection Forces (GPF) headquartered in Zaline (Qamishli), Syria.
“The attacks came yesterday evening in a coordinated fashion,” Ashur said. “First, at sometime in the evening someone entered the Miami cafe and restaurant, a place where you can eat as well have a drink and play cards, and left a bag or backpack there. At 9:30 PM the bag exploded, gutting the place. I had planned to meet friends at the Miami restaurant, but I was late due to work. Death missed me by minutes because of extra paperwork,” he said.
“Then, at 10:00 PM, someone noticed that a laptop bag had been left outside the window of the Gabriel restaurant. Within seconds of it being noticed, it exploded, right around 10:00 PM. Then at 10:30 PM, another backpack bomb exploded at the Masaa restaurant. Taken together, these attacked were carefully planned and timed to do maximum damage and inflict maximum fear on our Assyrian neighborhoods,” Ashur told AMO.
Ashur went on to note that although someone claiming to represent ISIS posted a message on social media taking responsibility for the bombs, the types of explosives and the nature of the attacks does not fit the ISIS pattern of violence.
“These attacks were not suicide bombers,” noted Ashur. “And,” he went on, “the explosive were designed to only kill innocent civilians, not destroy the buildings. When ISIS attacks, they go all out and seek to destroy our businesses or churches.”
Additionally, Ashur noted that whoever planted the bombs would have had to blend in with the residences of Zaline (Qamishli).
Suspicion therefore lies with the Kurdish military faction, the YPG. The YPG is so tightly aligned with the terrorist group, the Kurdish Workers’ Party or the PKK, that some say they are one in the same. The YPG and PKK are hard-core Marxist groups, with long histories of terror and brutality, and they routinely terrorize the Assyrian populace of Syria, extorting money from business and individuals, and even kidnapping young men for forced service in their ranks.
Currently, the death toll stands at 20 killed and some 35 to 40 wounded. Though Ashur was nearly killed himself, he is resolved to stay and stand-up to those who are terrorizing the Assyrian community in Zaline (Qamishli). “Whoever did this, they are saying to us that we should leave, that this is our last warning. I am here to tell whoever planted those bombs that it will not work. Will stand and we will fight you,” he said.
Below are images taken by the GPF of the damage done to the Miami restaurant – viewer caution is advised.