Reports from the Kurdish/SDF frontline: 1/12/2015

The following are the latest reports from the SDF/Kurd frontline against ISIS. The video above shows the moment Syrian Democratic Forces enter a newly liberated Arab village in southern Hasakah.

The Kurdish-Arab alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reported new gains in the southern suburbs of Hasakah, northeast Syria, at the expense of the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS), heading towards Shaddadi, the second key bastion of ISIS after Raqqa in northeastern Syria, military sources reported on Monday. Shaddadi, located at a distance of 46km south of Hasakah city, and its environs have been under ISIS control for more than a year and a half.

A Kurdish member of the SDF, Jivan Hasan, said their units were able to recapture areas in the vicinity of Rusafa and Qana villages, after seizing the Hasakah southern dam (25 km south Hasakah). He pointed out that the joint forces approached the village of al-Daham (6 km south Hasakah) that is located near the ISIS-held district al-Arisha. “The advance of the SDF forces towards the ISIS’s major stronghold of Shaddadi slowed down due to the land-mines planted by the terror group in the area,” he explained. 

Last week, the Kurdish YPG forces took the military base of al-Melabiya in Hasakah province, subsequent to days of clashes with ISIS militants. Before its withdrawal from al-Melabiya, ISIS reportedly transferred a large deal of its weapons from the base to the eastern countryside of Deir ez-Zor. 

Fighting continues between the U.S.-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance and ISIS gangs on several fronts in the countryside of Hasakah to the south, east and west. The SDF launched an extended anti-ISIS campaign in Hasakah nearly one months ago, and it has been so far able to recapture more than 210 villages and towns in the province. 

The SDF include Kurdish forces of the YPG and YPJ, the Syriac Military Council, the Arab tribal group of al-Sanadeed, al-Jazeera brigades, Jaish al-Thuwar group, and of Burkan al-Furat battalion.

See also: Kurd/SDF army readies to take ISIS strongholds

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