Damascus, June 6 (IANS) The US-led anti-terror coalition struck positions of the Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria’s northern city of Hasaka, where intense battles have been taking place, a monitoring group reported on Saturday.
The coalition warplanes carried out multiple strikes against the IS positions in the southwestern rim of Ras al-Ayn city in Hasaka, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Britain-based watchdog group said the airstrikes were coupled with clashes between the Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the IS militants inside Ras al-Ayn, according to Xinhua news agency.
The observatory, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, added that battles also raged in the southern entrances of Hasaka city between the Syrian army and the IS militants, who have been trying to storm the predominantly Kurdish city.
Abdul-Karim Sorkhan, a Kurdish leader, said the Kurd fighters were standing on the sidelines with the battles being fought between Syrian troops and the IS.
He reportedly said both the Syrian forces and IS were antagonist towards the Kurds, adding that the Kurdish fighters were on standby to protect the densely Kurdish populated areas in the northern and western parts of the city.
Over the past few days, the IS staged 18 suicide bombings in a bid to storm Hasaka, but the defences of the Syrian military have so far kept them from entering this city.
Experts said the IS wants to storm Hasaka to take revenge for the losses it suffered at the hands of Kurdish fighters in predominantly Kurdish areas in northern Syria.
The terror group also wants to capture Hasaka to connect areas under its control in eastern Syria with its de facto capital of Raqqa province in northern Syria.