ISIS militants launched major attacks in northern Syria on Thursday in a swift counter-offensive after recent battlefield setbacks, storming government-held areas in one mostly Kurdish city and setting off deadly car bombs as they pushed back into a border town they were expelled from earlier this year.
The ISIS offensive was two-pronged and left dozens of people dead or wounded. On one front, ISIS fighters advanced early in the morning into the northeastern city of Hassakeh, long split between Syrian Kurds and government forces, capturing parts of it.
The Hassakeh and Kobani attacks came just days after YPG fighters and their allies captured the Islamic State stronghold of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey and the town of Ein Issa to the south. Kurdish fighters have been advancing since January under the cover of airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition. But in neighbouring Iraq, government forces and allied Shia militiamen have been slow in retaking IS-held territory. The Iraqis have also suffered occasional losses. Iraqi troops drove ISIS militants from Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit in April, but lost Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province west of Baghdad, last month.
- Isis attacks Kurdish sites in Syria – www.ft.com
- ISIS storms, recaptures parts of Syrian settlements – www.thestar.com
- ISIS executes women, children in Kobane – english.alarabiya.net
- Isis re-enters Kobani: Fighting between militants and Kurds restarts in key Syrian border city – www.independent.co.ukISIS Attacks Two Border Towns in Northern Syria – www.nytimes.com