MESOP News Roundup: Monday, April 27 – Islamic State encroaches on Al-Hasakah city

Islamic State forces launched a multi-pronged attack on Al-Hasakah on Sunday, attacking three checkpoints on the city’s outskirts and taking control of several positions to the city’s west and south, reported pro-opposition Siraj Press.

“What is outstanding about this attack is that the Islamic State has begun to use cars in suicide attacks, which is what they do when they intend to capture,” Alaf Hussein, the correspondent for a Kurdish radio station in Al-Hasakah told Syria Direct on Monday, commenting on IS suicide car attacks on two regime checkpoints ouutside the city. The situation is “under control,” the government’s National Defense Forces wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. An accompanying photograph outside the southwest corner of the city shows an NDF presence at a quiet intersection. In response to the attack, the regime sent in 800 soldiers from Qamishli to reinforce its frontlines in Syria’s far northeast province, reported the pro-regime Hasakah News Network. The Islamic State has been battling regime and Kurdish forces for control of Al-Hasakah’s countryside for a year. Sunday’s attack marks the first time IS has made a concentrated attack on the city itself.