PHOTO: Islamic State fighters near Hasakah in northeast Syria, early June 2015


The Islamic State escalated its challenge to regime and Kurdish forces inside Hasakah in northeast Syria on Saturday, taking more districts in the south of the city.

The militants moved into the Aziziyah and Gweiran areas in the south of the city, undermining the claims of Syrian State media that their attacks had been defeated.

Kurdish police reportedly issued an order for a curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.: “We appeal to our people in the city of Hasaka to cooperate with Asayish [police] forces to support and consolidate security and stability in the city in order to preserve the safety of citizens.”

There were claims that regime and Kurdish forces have agreed to fight together in some areas of Hasakah.

The Governor of Hasakah Province, Mohammad Zaal al-Ali, insisted that the situation is “stable”. He claimed, “The Syrian army has begun a combing operation in the neighborhoods that terrorists sneaked to according to a well-thought-out plan.”

Al-Ali urged residents who fled their homes to return, while saying that medical staff should remain at their duties and calling on “draft-dodgers” to go to military recruitment centers.

The Islamic State renewed its offensive in and near Hasakah — a city with a mixed Arab, Kurdish, and Assyrian population, near the Iraqi and Turkish borders — on Wednesday night. It took two districts in the southwest of Hasakah, but was soon pushed out of one, with battles in the other.

Fighting continued in nearby areas, such as the juvenile detention center, and reports of the Islamic State’s moves in southern Hasakah surface on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier this month, an Islamic State assault on Hasakah was repulsed after more than a week by Assad forces.

US Airstrikes Near Kobane

Days after the Islamic State launched deadly incursions in and near Kobane, killing at least 145 people, the US has carried out airstrikes in the area. Claims are circulating of up to nine attacks.

Footage of the Kurdish militia YPG moving into a school hit by a US raid:

The school before it was hit, with YPG fighters trying to flush out Islamic State militants:

Report: Deputy VP and Long-Time Assad Confidante Kheirbek Dies

Claims are circulating that Nasif Kheirbek, a Deputy Vice President and member of President Assad’s inner circle, has died.

Kheirbek, 78, was a long-time confidante on security matters of the Assad family, going back to Hafez al-Assad’s ascent to power in 1970. He was reportedly a liaison with Iran and Hezbollah. He was sanctioned by the European Union for the use of violence against protesters.

Kheirbek (right) with the young Bashar al-Assad:


Video: Aftermath of Regime Barrel-Bombing of Haydariyeh in Aleppo

The aftermath of a barrel bomb on Aleppo’s Haydariyeh district, with wounded people carried by rescuers and dug from rubble (Warning — Graphic Images):

Video and Picture: Aftermath of Deadly Regime Shelling Amid Rebels’ Daraa Offensive

Images of the aftermath of regime shelling of Naseeb in Daraa Province in southern Syria on Saturday morning:


The Local Coordination Committees reported that the shelling caused most of the 33 deaths of civilians in Daraa Province on Saturday.

Syrian forces are trying to check a rebel offensive, announced last week, to take all of Daraa city. Rebels are attacking Assad troops inside the city while blocking supply routes outside it through attacks.

Rebels in the al-Manshiyah section of Daraa city:

Ahrar al-Sham fighters clashing with regime troops:

Kafranbel Protests Islamic State’s Blocking of Fuel to Rebel-Held Areas

The weekly protest in Kafranbel in Idlib Province protests the Islamic State’s blocking of fuel deliveries to rebel-held areas of northern Syria:

Earlier this week, rebels and activists said the Islamic State was blocking fuel supplies, to the point of executing truck drivers who defied the order. Last week, rebel factions issued an ultimatum to the militants, threatening to cut off supplies of food to the Islamic State — the threat appeared to lead to some fuel deliveries making it into Aleppo Province.

See Syria Daily, June 27: Rebel “Ultimatum” to Islamic State Gets Some Fuel Into Northern Opposition-Held Areas

“Islamic State Infiltrated Amid Refugees for Deadly Kobane Attacks”

The Kurdish website Rudaw says Islamic State fighters, disguised in uniforms of the Kurdish militia and the Free Syrian Army, mixed amid refugees to infiltrate the Kurdish center of Kobane and carry out mass killings on Thursday.

Kurdish activists said at least 145 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in and near Kobane, close to the Turkish border, as Islamic State attacked civilians.

The militants “spoke fluent Kurdish and it was impossible to suspect that they could be Islamic State collaborators2, said a Rudaw reporter. He said they entered the city with thousands of people leaving the Islamic State’s center of Raqqa.

Earlier in the week, the Islamic State issued an order for the Kurdish inhabitants of Raqqa to leave the city, under threat after recent Kurdish-rebel advances in northern Syria.

On Saturday, Kurdish activists said the last Islamic State units had been cleared from Kobane, after holding out for two days against Kurdish militia.

Opposition Coalition Accuses Kurdish Militia of “Widespread Violations” Against Arab and Turkmen Civilians

The externally-based opposition Syrian National Coalition has accused the Kurdish YPG militia of “widespread violations against the civilian population” in northern Syria, following a recent offensive against Islamic State-controlled areas.

The coalition said a fact-finding committee had found displacement of population; threats via social media; seizure of vehicles, livestock, and crops; and ransacking of houses as the YPG took control of Arab and Turkmen villages near Tel Abyad, closed to the Turkish border.

The Coalition said threats were sent to the people of Tel Abyad just before they entered the city, sparking a flight contributing to the more than 20,000 civilians who crossed into Turkey.

The Coalition calls for the UN to immediately send an investigation mission to Tel Abyad and surrounding villages, and for the entry of human rights organizations and journalists into Tal Abyad to “convey the image to the world and the size of the tragedy and the damage the YPG caused to the unarmed civilians”.