Kurdish YPG forces repel a renewed attack by ISIS south of Hasakah

Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) repelled a renewed attack by Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah governorate, military sources reported on Tuesday.

Clashes broke out in the vicinity of Shaddadi city in Hasakah’s southern countryside after ISIS militants attacked a security checkpoint for the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The clashes centred in the villages of Hut and Hamma in southwestern Shaddadi.

Local sources reported casualties on both sides. However, ARA News could not verify the exact number of casualties.

“After three hours of clashes, Daesh militants were forced to retreat towards their bases in Margada city near the administrative border of Deir ez-Zor Governorate,” a YPG officer told ARA News, using another acronym for ISIS.

Similar clashes took place on Sunday between SDF fighters and ISIS militants in the southern countryside of Hasakah after ISIS carried out a car bomb attack on an SDF security checkpoint near Shaddari city. 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. 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.