MESOP NEWS : Major Islamic State Attack on Syrian Kurdish City Hasakah / Fierce clashes close to Iraqi and Turkish borders

HASAKAH – 3 June 2015 – Fierce fighting is taking place between Islamic State (IS) militants and Kurds in Hasakah, a city in Syrian Kurdistan.The region surrounding the city is strategically vital as it links IS-held lands in Syria and Iraq.

The fighting came a day after US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said authorities had heard reports that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched air strikes supporting IS’s advance. IS militants are said to have captured another village in the Aleppo province of northern Syria.A video posted online purportedly shows their fighters walking unopposed in the town of Umm al-Qura, near the border with Turkey. The clashes took place near a prison just south of Hasakah after IS detonated a bomb close by, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The US and its allies have launched 10 air strikes against IS targets in Iraq and five in Syria since Monday morning, the US military said on Tuesday. The five strikes in Syria were concentrated near Hasakah and Kobani further to west, and hit tactical units, fighting positions, a command and control facility and a weapons cache, it said.The Observatory, which collects information from a network of sources on the ground, said around 30 fighters from the Syrian military and allied militia had been killed in five days of battles with IS in Hasakah province.