These responses came from a YPG official in Qamişlo, Rojava, after the horrific Daesh (Isis/Isil) massacre of 27 July.
What is life usually like in Qamişlo?
Despite being a Kurdish city, Qamişlo also has an Arab, Assyrian and Syriac population. Although there are sometimes disagreements in general, life runs at its normal pace. People get up to go to work in the mornings and all social spheres and businesses are open. There is a dual administration in the city. A small part of the city is under the control of the Syrian regime and the rest is under [Rojava’s] autonomous administration.
How have people been responding to the attack?
This attack was the biggest in recent years. Both civilians and buildings were targeted. The explosion was huge and destroyed a large area and many lives. The people ran to help in rescue attempts, and the injured were taken to hospital quickly. Rescue attempts are continuing with winches and diggers because many people are trapped under the rubble. It is also very hot, which makes things more difficult.
Was it an attack aimed completely at civilians or also at Rojavan security forces?
The attack occurred on the main road going from Amuda to the centre of Qamişlo. The explosion happened in front of the Qasimo Mosque, where the Qamişlo uprising first began. The mosque was completely destroyed in the attack. Because the bomb-laden truck was so big, it would have been impossible for it to enter the road where the Asayish [the local security forces] are based, and that place is also far away from the main road. This shows that the attack targeted the mosque and civilians.
How can Daesh be defeated?
Daesh is a mutation of terrorist organisations that were created by western states to limit and threaten states in the region. Now states like Turkey are threatening the European states and the west with Daesh. For it to be defeated, the support from these states needs to be stopped.