ISIS militants report gains in Syria’s Hasakah

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Western coalition's warplanes hit ISIS positions south of Hasakah. File photo

ARA News

Hasakah, Syria – The Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) stormed the city of Hasakah from the southern and western sides, taking control of Nashwa district, amid civilian’s mass displacement toward the northern areas of the city, local activists reported on Thursday.

“IS militants took control of Nashwa Gharibya and al-Villat districts, reaching the Criminal Security Branch in Nashwas Sharqiya,” local sources told ARA News.

The pro-Assad forces, supported by gunmen of the National Defense militia and al-Maghawir, fled the frontlines after IS advance in southern Hasakah.

“Nashwa area was subjected to bombardment with artillery and helicopters by the pro-Assad forces,” eyewitnesses reported, pointing out that dozens of civilians were wounded in the attack on Thursday evening.

“A number of people are trapped in the neighborhood of Sharia as a result of shelling and clashes there.”

Speaking to ARA News, the civil rights activist Ghassan Mohammed reported that the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), who are in control of the Kurdish districts in the city, have been alerted since the early houses of Thursday, adding that the units will take part in the battles “in case IS terrorists approached the Kurdish neighborhoods”.

“The Kurdish neighborhoods of Salihiya, Aziziyah and Tel Hajar saw a mass displacement among civilians since Thursday morning,” the source added.

In the meantime, the regime’s army bombed areas controlled by IS militants, while the militants responded with similar attacks on the regime-led security centers in the city.

Local activists told ARA News that the IS group has taken several areas as strongholds in Hasakah, including al-Kahraba roundabout, faculties of Arts and Education, the headquarters of the pro-Assad National Defense force (first Brach), Children’s Hospital, the Nashwa and Villat districts as well as the school of Sharia.

“Ten members of the pro-regime forces, including a lieutenant and an officer, were killed Thursday near al-Kahraba roundabout during IS-led attacks,” media activist Ismail Hussein told ARA News in Hasakah, quoting a lieutenant of the pro-regime forces.

He added that IS militants erected a checkpoint at a roundabout under the bridge in the Nashwa Gharbiya district, pointing out that the Criminal Security Branch, which the group tries to break into from the south, is still under the regime’s control.

Medical sources in the National Hospital of Aziziyah neighborhood told ARA News that Hasakah’s battles left two civilians dead and 21 others wounded, including women and children.

On Thursday evening, hundreds of civilians left the city of Hasakah, heading to the nearby cities of Amuda, Derbassiyeh and Qamishli. 

Over the past few months, militant fighters of the Islamic State has been seeking to break into Hasakah city through southern and western sides where the pro-Assad forces are in control.

 

Reporting by: Zozan Shekho, Aynur Mohamed

Source: ARA News

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