Government traffic police monitor a road in Qamishli, a Kurdish-majority city in Hassakeh province, Syria.
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HASSAKEH, Syria: Life in the Syrian city of Hassakeh, divided between allied Kurdish and regime forces, comes at a price: two lots of military service and double the taxes.After government troops withdrew from Kurdish-majority areas in 2012, a year after Syria's civil war broke out, local forces, including the YPG and its political arm, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), stepped in to fill the void.The Kurdish taxi driver and former government employee moves freely between Hassakeh city and Qamishli, a Kurdish-majority city to the northeast.Some stores in Kurdish-controlled areas stopped paying government taxes, while those in areas with overlapping authorities have been charged twice."And now there's also a second side ... issuing me tickets because they say my prices are too high," he said, in an apparent jab at Kurdish forces.A man who runs a cell phone store said he pays monthly government taxes as well as a weekly fee for Kurdish authorities to clean the streets outside.
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