HASAKAH – Islamic State (ISIS) militants launched a new offensive on Sunday against Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northeast Syria.
Military sources told ARA News that ISIS militants carried out a car bomb attack on an SDF security checkpoint near Shaddari city in the southern countryside of Hasakah.
The extremist group has also struck the SDF headquarters in Shaddadi with a number of mortar shells. At least five SDF fighters were killed and two others were seriously injured.
At the same time, ISIS jihadists tried to infiltrate into Azzawi town, which is also in northeastern Syria. Heavy clashes ensued between the SDF and ISIS.
“ISIS militants have been trying to infiltrate into Shaddadi and other areas in southern Hasakah,” an SDF spokesman told ARA News. “Our forces were able to repel the attack and forced ISIS to withdraw towards Deir ez-Zor.”
In mid-February 2016, People’s Protection Units (YPG) and allied SDF fighters concluded a protracted campaign by liberating Shaddadi city.
ISIS militants evacuated their headquarters in Shaddadi after an intense SDF bombardment. “More than 275 ISIS militants were killed and 33 ISIS vehicles were destroyed at the hands of SDF fighters in the battle for Shaddadi,” SDF spokesman Talal Silo told ARA News at the time.
During the offensive, SDF troops also seized control of the Jibisa Gas Facility, located 12 km east of Shaddadi city. ISIS had used the critical refinery to produce more than a million gas cylinders, which were then sold on the black market.
The SDF’s progress came after the SDF cut ISIS’ main supply route in al-Hawl, near Syria’s northeastern border with Iraq. This advance was supported by the U.S.-led coalition, who provided air cover.
Since the campaign concluded, ISIS has been trying to return to the area, launching mortar and car bomb attacks from bases in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.
Reporting by: Qehreman Miste | Source: ARA News