Al-Hasakah city offensive (May–June 2015)

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Al-Hasakah city offensive (May–June 2015)
Part of the Syrian Civil War,
the Syrian Kurdish–Islamist conflict (2013–present),
and the American-led intervention in Syria
Al-Hasakah Collage.jpg
Collage of places in Al-Hasakah city
Date30 May – 8 June 2015
(1 week and 2 days)
LocationAl-Hasakah, Syria
Result

Syrian Army/YPG victory

  • Syrian Army recaptures two villages, al-Ahdath prison and a power plant south of the city[3][4]
Belligerents

 Syrian Arab Republic


 Syrian Kurdistan
Syriac Union Party

Supported by:
CJTF–OIR[1][2]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Units involved

Syrian Army

National Defence Force[5]
Ba'ath Brigades[5] Sootoro[6]
Gozarto Protection Forces[5]


People's Protection Units Flag.svg YPG[7]

Syriac Military Council (MFS)[7]

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Military of ISIL

Casualties and losses
71 Syrian soldiers and 11 YPG fighters killed[8] 102 ISIL militants killed (11 suicide bombers), 31 of them by YPG[8][9]
25 civilians killed[8][10]
4,000+ civilians fled[11]

The Al-Hasakah city offensive (May–June 2015) was launched during the Syrian Civil War by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) against the city of Al-Hasakah, which was held by both the Syrian Armed Forces and the Kurdish YPG.

Background[edit]

In May 2015, the Kurdish YPG, backed by the Assyrian Syriac Military Council, allied Arab tribal fighters, and Free Syrian Army fighters, launched a large-scale offensive in the western Al-Hasakah Governorate, capturing over 4,000 square kilometres (1,544.41 sq mi) of land and over 230 villages from ISIL.

The offensive[edit]

On 30 May, ISIL launched an offensive towards the Syrian government-controlled part of Al-Hasakah, and advanced in the city's outskirts after two suicide bombers targeted Syrian Army positions, killing and wounding 50 soldiers.[12] The offensive originated from the ISIL-held town of Al-Shaddadah, south of Al-Hasakah,[3] and was the jihadist organizations's third assault on the city in 2015.[5]

On 31 May, the Syrian Arab Air Force bombed Al-Shaddadah, killing 43 ISIL militants and family members, as well as 22 civilians. The strikes targeted a souq market.[10][13] The same day, two ISIL suicide bombers attacked military positions near Al-Hasakah. One of them drove a tanker, killing nine soldiers.[14]

On 1 June, ISIL launched its second attack on Al-Hasakah by firing a barrage of mortar shells and rockets toward the city center, followed by a ground assault on the villages of Al-Dawoudiyah and Rad Shaqra. Eventually, the militants breached Syrian Army fortifications at the Al-Ahdath Central Prison, near Al-Dawoudiyah, capturing the southeastern sector of the facility. After Syrian government reinforcements arrived, the Syrian Army was reportedly able to recapture areas of the prison.[15]

On the morning of 2 June, ISIL took control of the southern perimeter of Al-Dawoudiyah. Meanwhile, Syrian government forces reportedly expelled ISIL fighters from Rad Shaqra. The next day, it was reported a newly formed pro-Syrian government Assyrian militia, called the Gozarto Protection Forces, had arrived from Qamishli to reinforce Syrian government troops.[16]

On 4 June, the Syrian government sent more reinforcements to Al-Hasakah. By this point, ISIL was in control of the Panorama checkpoint, al-Ahdath prison, three villages,[17] including Al-Dawoudiyah, and the city’s electricity company, bringing the jihadists within less than 500 meters of Al-Hasakah.[18] The advances came after an ISIL assault using six suicide bombers,[19] including five against the prison.[20] A total of 11 suicide bombers hit Syrian government positions since the start of the offensive.[18]

On 5 June, the Kurdish YPG and Syriac SMC militias joined Syrian government troops at their security center on Mount Kawkab, in an attempt to prevent any possible ISIL attacks on the city.[7][21] The next day, ISIL used howitzer artillery against Syrian Army positions near Mount Kawkab.[21]

On 6 June, Syrian government forces launched a counterattack and recaptured the Panorama checkpoint, the prison, and the Al-Hasakah Power Plant.[22][23][24] That night, after not getting involved since the start of the offensive, the YPG started fighting ISIL, on the western outskirts of the northern part of the city that they control. Kurdish involvement began after they were criticised by city figures for not defending Al-Hasakah, and were subsequently recognised as "a primary combat force in the city" after several meetings.[23] By the next day, the Syrian Army had recaptured Al-Dawoudiyah and Abyad. Soon afterwards, the Syrian Army repelled a new ISIL attack on the prison and power plant that lasted most of the morning and into the afternoon.[23][24][25] Later, the Syrian Army continued its counterattack, and recaptured the villages of Al-Watwatiyah and Al-Mishtal Al-Zura’yy,[26] pushing ISIL back up to 2 kilometers from the city. Clashes continued near the prison[23] and the electricity company, as the Syrian Arab Air Force bombed ISIL positions along the Al-Hasakah-Al-Shaddadah road, and in Al-Shaddadah itself.[27]

On 8 June, the Syrian Army continued its counterattack and reportedly recaptured the village of Aliyah, thus creating a 12 kilometer buffer zone around Al-Hasakah city.[28] The same day, the Syrian Army was declared "triumphant" in their defense of the city by the pro-Syrian government Al-Masdar News.[5]

Aftermath[edit]

On 23 June, ISIL began a new offensive on Syrian government-held parts of the city, seizing southwestern neighborhoods[29] after former pro-Syrian government National Defence Force militias in the area allegedly switched allegiance to ISIL.[30] The assault was one of many attacks carried out by ISIL during Ramadan of 2015.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Operation Inherent Resolve Strike Updates". United States Department of Defense. 2 June 2015. Archived from the original on 21 October 2014. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Syria and Iraq News". Peter Clifford Online. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Syrian army regains ground against Islamic State in Hasaka city". SBS. Reuters. 7 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Thomas van Linge on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Leith Fadel (8 June 2015). "Syrian Armed Force are triumphant at Al-Hasakah City". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  6. ^ Leith Fadel (4 June 2015). "ISIS fails to enter Al-Hasakah City despite numerous attempts". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c "Despite airstrikes, Islamists report gains in Syria's Hasakah". ARA News. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "YPG shares in repelling an attack on the city of al- Hasakah, and more than 30 fighters killed in the clashes". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 9 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  9. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20160304092346/http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=19585. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ a b "UN envoy decries Syria regime raids as dozens killed". Business Insider. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  11. ^ Wyke, Tom (2 July 2015). "4,000 Christian families have fled their homes after fears ISIS may overrun the Syrian city of Hasakah". MailOnline. 
  12. ^ "At least 50 members of the regime forces and allied militiamen killed and wounded in an attack launched by IS on the city of al- Hasakah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 30 May 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "A massacre by regime warplanes lead to the death of 65 people in al-Shadadi". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 31 May 2015. Archived from the original on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "10 members of the regime forces and allied militiamen killed in detonation of a booby- trapped tanker in al- Hasakah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 1 June 2015. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Leith Fadel (1 June 2015). "ISIS storms the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah once again". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  16. ^ Leith Fadel (3 June 2015). "Assyrians fight back in Al-Hasakah: ISIS repelled outside the city". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Al Rifai, Diana (4 June 2015). "ISIL makes major advance on Syria's Hasakah". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "176 killed as ISIS advance in northeast Syria". TRT World. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Leith Fadel (4 June 2015). "ISIS at the Gates of Al-Hasakah". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "Kurdish city of Hasaka under heavy ISIS attack". Rudaw. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  21. ^ a b "Isis in Syria: Islamic State closes in on Kurdish city of Hasakah; 5 lakh locals at threat". International Business Times. 6 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  22. ^ Leith Fadel (6 June 2015). "Syrian Armed Forces holding tough in Al-Hasakah: ISIS fails to enter the provincial capital". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c d "Syria army pushes ISIS back from Hasaka". Al Arabiya. 7 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 'There were several meetings at which the Kurds were urged to participate in the defence of the city, and they agreed after a decision that they would be recognised as a primary combat force in the city,' he added. Syria's Kurds have walked a careful line in the country's conflict, declining to join the uprising directly, but also not fighting alongside the regime. 
  24. ^ a b "Clashes continue in al-Hasakah city and its countryside amid disadvantages for IS". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  25. ^ Leith Fadel (7 June 2015). "ISIS unable to find an entrance into Al-Hasakah City". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  26. ^ Leith Fadel (7 June 2015). "Syrian Armed Forces push back ISIS from Al-Hasakah outskirts: Two villages captured". Al-Masdar News. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "24 barrel bombs dropped on a town in Daraa in the last 24 hours, while the regime forces advance in south of al- Hasakah". Syrian Observatory For Human Rights. 7 June 2015. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Fadel, Leith (9 June 2015). "Syrian Army extends their buffer-zone to 12km around Al-Hasakah City; Aliyah village captured". Al-Masdar News. 
  29. ^ "ISIS counterattacks in Northern Syria". Institute for the Study of War Syria Updates. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 
  30. ^ Shaheen, Kareem (25 June 2015). "Islamic State attacks Kobani and pro-regime troops in Syria's north". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°29′00″N 40°45′00″E / 36.4833°N 40.7500°E / 36.4833; 40.7500