QAMISHLI – The extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS) has planted dozens of mines in the vicinity of al-Hawl town in the eastern countryside of Hasakah, northeast Syria, in a move to prevent the U.S.-backed troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from advancing towards the group’s positions, military sources reported on Friday.
Speaking to ARA News in Hasakah, SDF fighter Farhad Ameen said: “ISIS militants are trying to find ways to prevent our advance towards the strategic town of al-Hawl, through laying dozens of mines across its suburbs.”
The source added that the radical group has been digging trenches around its headquarters in the eastern and southern countryside of Hasakah.
“They also have dug trenches in the villages of Bahrat al-Khatooniya and al-Kahila in the vicinity of al-Hawl,” he said, pointing out “there will be no break for our forces; we will continue progressing in northeastern Syria until liberating the strategic town of al-Hawl and other areas from ISIS terrorists.”
“The engineering teams of the Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have dismantled most of the mines in the region,” Ameen told ARA News.
ISIS militants also burn oil substance in al-Hawl suburbs in a bid to mislead the joint forces that coordinate with the U.S.-led coalition during the anti-ISIS operations in the region.
The hardline group keeps digging trenches and plants mines around key areas under its control across Syria and Iraq.
In February, frontline Peshmerga commanders reported that ISIS has been digging a 500-km-long trench from Shingal to Kirkuk to protect its centers against the Peshmerga attacks in northern Iraq.
“ISIS has been trying to avoid our attacks by digging security trenches and planting mines,” a Peshmerga commander told ARA News.
ISIS has recently started digging trenches in the vicinity of Raqqa city in northeastern Syria, in an attempt to defend its de facto capital against Kurdish attacks.
Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh
Source: ARA News