Kurdish-Arab alliance regains new villages from ISIS, heads to last jihadi stronghold in Hasakah

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Kurdish members of the Syrian Democratic Forces arrive in the liberated town of al-Hawl in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

HASAKAH – The Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have reported new gains in the south and south-eastern suburbs of Hasakah, northeast Syria, at the expense of the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS), local activists reported on Saturday.

The joint forces had announced an extended military campaign to liberate the entire province Hasakah three weeks ago. Since then, the SDF has recaptured large areas across the province amid an unprecedented decline by ISIS.

Subsequent to retaking the strategic town of al-Hawl, the SDF fighters are now locked in battles with the terror group in a bid to liberate the town of Shaddadi, the second key bastion of the terror group after Raqqa in northeastern Syria.

Speaking to ARA News in Shaddadi suburb, Omar Hussein, a resident of the ISIS-held village of Khamayil (15 km south Hasakah), said: “The SDF forces have besieged our village, which consists of nearly 600 houses, and engaged in fierce battles with the ISIS hardline group.”

“Several Daesh-linked snipers have topped the key houses on the outskirts of the village,” the source added, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.

In the meantime, leading member of the SDF Heval Serdar told ARA News: “Our forces, backed by an air support from the U.S.-led coalition, try to cut off the remaining supply routes of the terrorists in the southern countryside of Hasakah.”

“On Friday, we took control of the village of Dhi Qar (20 km southeast Hasakah) after expelling ISIS terrorists,” Serdar added.

“The terror group has already lost more than 200 villages and strategic towns in the province, and some of its supply lines on the Syrian-Iraqi border have been cut off by our forces,” the source said.

Also on Saturday, the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) reportedly recaptured the ISIS-held military base of al-Melabiya and a number of nearby villages in Hasakah province, activists reported on Saturday.

An informed source from Hasakah told ARA News that the YPG fighters have fully retaken the military base of al-Melabiya after days of clashes with ISIS, adding “before its withdrawal, the group has transferred a large deal of its weapons from the base to the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor.”

The source pointed out that the Kurdish forces have besieged the village of al-Khamayil south of Hasakah, forcing the group flee the village and the surrounding sub-districts of al-Karama and Qana.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste

Source: ARA News

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