Kurds defend Hasakah from ISIS and former regime loyalists

Hasakah (ANF) – As clashes between the Syrian regime and ISIS continue in Hasakah city, the YPG/YPJ’s defense units reduced the threats against the city, but the dangers of ISIS presence persist here.

Clashes between the Syrian regime and ISIS gangs in Hesekê have been continuing for the past two weeks. ISIS gangs have made significant advances and YPG/YPJ forces have strengthened their defense circle since the beginning of the clashes here.

MUQANNAINS SWITCHED SIDES

ISIS gangs had occupied Panorama, Neşwa, and Wiran without a fight after muqannains, forces loyal to Ahmet Helle that had initially sided with the regime, switched sides and decided to support ISIS. This caused civilians to migrate from major neighborhoods such as Wiran, Neşwa, and Ezizi and regime soldiers to seek refuge in YPG. The Democratic Autonomous Administration placed the migrating civilians in the Roj Camp set up in Derik.

After ISIS gangs’ infiltration into Eziziye neighborhood and the calls of intervention made by Arab tribe leaders, YPG/YPJ forces intervened in the clashes. YPG/YPJ fighters expanded their defense circle and prevented an ISIS takeover of the city. YPG/YPJ forces liberated Maruf and Hamra villages and Kew Kep hill to the east of Hesekê, which were used as transportation routes by ISIS gangs. YPG/YPJ fighters also took control of the road to Hool, which meant the inclusion of Vilayet-i Sor (Red Houses) in the defense circle. YPG/YPJ forces inflicted heavy blows on ISIS gangs after cornering them within the defense circle.

ADVANCES TO THE WEST

YPG/YPJ fighters also made significant advances to the west and liberated the surroundings of Pıra Spî (White Bridge) nearby Ebyad village after intense clashes against ISIS gangs. YPG/YPJ forces also took control of the road between Raqqa and Hesekê, which weakened the ISIS siege on the town.

Local sources state that Syrian regime forces had used Napalm bombs in Ebyad village but were later trapped by ISIS gangs as they entered the village. ISIS gangs killed nearly 30 regime soldiers including one adjutant general here and the regime had left the control of Pıra Spî to ISIS gangs, which initiated the ongoing clashes in Hesekê.

Although the YPG/YPJ forces’ expansion of the defense circle weakened the siege on Hesekê, the dangers posed by ISIS are not yet over. Regime forces have not recaptured Neşwa and Wiran neighborhoods from ISIS gangs and are trying to overcome this by getting reinforcements from the Şihêtat tribe in Dêra Zor region. Some local sources claim that these reinforcements are actually Hecdıl Şebap fighters.

This unconfirmed information points at the possibility of new developments in this region. Regime forces had hanged 7 ISIS gangs in the city center and burned their corpses near Kurdish neighborhood, which has raised questions on whether the regime was sending warning messages to YPG/YPJ forces that have been making significant gains in their fight against fascist and fundamentalist ISIS gangs

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