ISIS Continues to Advance on NE Syria City of Hasakeh

Heavy Airstrikes Not Slowing Offensive

The ISIS offensive against the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh, the capital of Syria’s Kurdish territory, is continuing apace, with ISIS forces drawing ever closer to the city’s gates in fierce battles, and irrespective of  heavy airstrikes from the Syrian military.

Hasakeh is the first major example of the Assad government working alongside Kurdish militias in trying to defend territory from ISIS. Barrel bombs are reportedly being dropped on the ISIS troops, who have been using suicide attacks to wear down the defenders.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put today’s death toll at 130, including 59 ISIS fighters and 71 government loyalists. 11 suicide car bombings were reported over the course of that advance, and ISIS seized parts of the outskirts of the city.

Hasakeh is the capital of its own province, and part of the nation’s main oil producing region. All electricity and communications in the city have been cut off for the last few days, and many civilians have fled from the city to the surrounding area.

If Hasakeh falls, the surrounding area may not matter much, as this would mean ISIS wrapping up the last of eastern Syria. They control over 50% of the nation, and the entire Iraq-Syria border, so the takeover of this region would allow them to focus more power on their western front.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.