THE LEVANT – After two weeks of violent firefights in the Ghaweran Neighborhood of Al-Hasakah, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) – backed by the National Defense Forces (NDF) – captured this integral area from the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). According to a military source, the SAA killed 62 militants belonging to ISIS linked militias and captured another 26 trying to flee east. Among the dead militants was the leader of Liwaa ‘Allah wu Akbar (God is Greatest Brigades) and multiple foreigners that did not possess identification:
- Firaas Shaheen (ISIS leader from Al-Hasakah)
- Hamad ‘Abdullah “Abu Yarob” (Liwaa ‘Allah wu Akbar leader from Aleppo)
- Jakar Khalil Ahmad (Syrian)
- Wa’el Majar (Syrian)
- ‘Amad Baseela (‘Iraqi)
- Ahmad Hazzam ‘Aleewa (‘Iraqi)
- Wassim ‘Abboud Al-Fadel (‘Iraqi)
- ‘Ali Turki (Syrian)
- Mohammad Hameed ‘Atiyya (Kuwaiti)
- Qasi ‘Ayyada (Saudi)
ISIS militants are on the offensive in the Al-Qamishli District, where National Defense Forces are attempting to break the siege from the south. Earlier today, the NDF successfully thwarted an ISIS infiltration attempt, killing at least 10 militants in the process. However, according to a civilian source, a 34 year old woman was killed by a mortar shell – fired by ISIS militants – near the eastern neighborhoods of Al-Qamishli.
The Syrian Air Force is providing necessary assistance from the air, attacking ISIS positions near Tal Khalil. Also assisting the civilian-led NDF, the Syrian Arab Army attacked ISIS positions in Jabal Abdel-Aziz near Ghaweran. The SAA was able to breakthrough ISIS defenses and secure the western hill after fierce firefights today. Syrian Arab Army Sappers were able to dismantle multiple mines placed by ISIS militants in this area – no casualties were reported.
In Tal Hamees, the battle has intensified between the Kurdish YPG forces and ISIS militants, forcing the latter to concentrate many of their resources to this battle. Tal Hamees is an ISIS stronghold that is used to launch attacks on neighboring villages and civilians. Two days ago, YPG forces killed over 30 members of ISIS, after an ambush was successfully laid by the former on the outskirts of the village.
If ISIS loses Tal Hamees to the YPG, they will be forced to retreat further south, near the Deir Ezzor Governate. ISIS has already sent reinforcements from the village of Da’oud in Al-Hasakah to Deir Ezzor – an area that they are currently besieging.