Army, Kurds advance against IS in Syria's Hasakeh



BEIRUT, LEBANON- Syrian government troops and Kurdish forces advanced Sunday against Islamic State group fighters in the northeastern city of Hasakeh, a monitor and state media said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said IS forces were now confined to just two small areas in the city.



The provincial governor told state news agency SANA that "the army and national forces are in the final stage of being able to declare Hasakeh city fully secure".
"The army backed by pro-regime gunmen took control of the Sakan al-Shababi area... in southern Hasakeh," the Observatory said, adding that government forces had also cut supply lines between two IS positions in the city.
Simultaneously, the Observatory said, Kurdish forces secured control of the Western Al-Nashwa area, further confining the jihadists.
"IS forces are now only in two small neighbourhoods, Al-Zuhur and Al-Sharia," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Observatory said residents who fled the fighting had begun returning to neighbourhoods that were taken back from IS.
The jihadist group began its assault on Hasakeh city on June 25, seizing several neighbourhoods before regime and Kurdish forces began a fightback.
Before the assault, control of Hasakeh was shared between Kurdish and regime forces, but the fighting has seen the Kurds expand the area under their control.
On Saturday, the Observatory said Kurdish forces now held around 70 percent of Hasakeh city, with the regime controlling 20 percent and IS around 10 percent.
The city is the capital of Hasakeh province, which is ethnically mixed and includes Arab, Kurdish, Turkmen and Assyrian residents among others.
More than 230,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests that descended into a civil war after a regime crackdown.
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Sunday, July 26th 2015
AFP
           


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