Islamic State (ISIS) forces are reportedly closing in on the city of Hassakeh after militants seized the first line of defense from the city’s south. Sources claim fighters overran the city’s power station and prison, and are currently approaching the Panorama checkpoint, the regime's largest checkpoint at the entrances of the city.
The group managed to seize Hassakeh prison following a "tactical withdrawal" of regime troops after ISIS bombed the regions of al-Mijbil and al-Masoul. ISIS militants then managed to seize the electricity station leaving the Panorama checkpoint as the regime’s only remaining line of defense at the city’s entrance.
The capture of Hassakeh would be a significant gain for ISIS due to the city’s location on the road to Iraq, largely used by regime forces and Kurdish People Protection Units as a starting point to attack the ISIS stronghold in Shaddadi city, connecting ISIS to its capitals in Iraq's Mosul and Syria's Raqqa.
Observers believe the city is about to fall after regime forces retreated to the city’s neighborhoods.
Hassakeh’s residents currently suffer from severe living conditions, without any basic necessities like water, electricity and a lack of food.
Half a million people are believed to be living inside the city, including at least 100,000 Kurds, 30,000 Christians, and more than 250,000 Arabs, along tens of thousands of displaced civilians from the province’s countryside.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer