MESOP : HASSAKEH T HIS MORNING ” – Regime Fighting With Kurds Continues in Hasakah

20 Aug 2016 – Kurdish and regime forces fought for a third day in Hasakah in eastern Syria on Friday, as the Syrian Air Force again bombed Kurdish positions.Kurdish outlets claimed that the YPG militia and Asayish security forces advanced in parts of the city, as regime supporters acknowledged a “full-scale assault” in districts such as al-Nashwa and al-Guweiran. One pro-Assad activist estimated about 30 airstrikes by regime warplanes to help maintain defense lines, in the Syrian military’s first bombing of Kurdish-held territory in the 5 1/2-year conflict.There are unconfirmed reports of the deaths of at least 22 civilians. A spokesman for the YPG said that thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, were evacuated on Friday.

HASAKAH MAP 18-08-16

Meanwhile, the US confirmed that it had scrambled jet fighters on Thursday, in its first intervention against regime aerial operations.A Pentagon spokesman said the fighters were sent because two Russian-made Su-24 warplanes were threatening attacks near a “small number” of US special operations advisors working with Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State.

The US also called the Russian military on a safety of flight hotline, and were told that the warplanes were not Russian-piloted.

“We will ensure [US troops’] safety and the Syrian regime would be well advised not to do things that would place them at risk,” the spokesman said.While there have been recurrent clashes in Hasakah, where control has been divided since 2013, this is the most serious episode. The fighting began on Wednesday, with each side blaming the other for attacks on checkpoints. A ceasefire on Wednesday night quickly collapsed.Regime supporters are now speaking of an “all-out war”, while the Kurdish militia YPG has said of the Syrian Air Force’s attacks, “Every hand spattered with the blood of our people will be held to account through all possible and available means.”

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