Syrian army says recaptures parts of Hassakeh from ISIS

Published 29.06.2015 14:39

The Syrian army said on Monday it had recaptured a major residential quarter in Hassakeh from the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) insurgents who stormed the strategically located northeastern city last week and drove out thousands of civilians.

Syrian state television said in a newsflash the army had now "cleansed" militants from the southern Hassakeh district of Nashwa.

Earlier an army source said ISIS suicide bombers blew up two trucks in the southeastern district of Ghwyran and a fire erupted at petroleum storage tanks and a textile firm following shelling by the militants.

Hassakeh is divided into areas run separately by Bashar al-Assad's regime and regional Kurdish authorities, and has an ethnically and religiously mixed population of Arabs and Kurds.

ISIS is back on the offensive after two weeks of reverses at the hands of Kurdish-led forces supported by air strikes of a U.S.-led coalition.

The militants control large tracts of eastern Syria four years into the country's civil war but mainly in the more thinly populated countryside. Hassakeh is important for all sides in the conflict because it sits between ISIS-held territory in Syria and in nearby Iraq.

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