Europe

Clashes between Kurds and Syrian troops force scores to flee

  • In this frame grab provided by Russian Defense Ministry press service, long-range Kalibr cruise missiles are launched by a Russian Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. The Russian military says two of its ships have launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria from eastern Mediterranean. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)

    In this frame grab provided by Russian Defense Ministry press service, long-range Kalibr cruise missiles are launched by a Russian Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. The Russian military says two of its ships have launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria from eastern Mediterranean. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this frame grab provided by Russian Defense Ministry press service, long-range Kalibr cruise missiles are launched by a Russian Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. The Russian military says two of its ships have launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria from eastern Mediterranean. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)

    In this frame grab provided by Russian Defense Ministry press service, long-range Kalibr cruise missiles are launched by a Russian Navy ship in the eastern Mediterranean, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016. The Russian military says two of its ships have launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria from eastern Mediterranean. (Russian Defence Ministry Press Service photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Residents of the northeastern Syrian city of Hassakeh are taking advantage of relative calm to flee the city to safer areas nearby.

The fighting between Kurdish fighters and government forces in the city intensified as government warplanes bombed Kurdish-controlled positions in Hassakeh on Thursday, a move that could worsen the country's deadly war.

Jwan Mohammed, a former official with the local authority in northern Syria, said intense fighting occurred overnight between Kurdish fighters and government forces.

He said by telephone that relative calm prevailed Friday leading scores of people to flee the predominantly Kurdish city.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that residents are fleeing the city.

Mohammed and the Observatory said sporadic clashes in the area are still taking place.