AMMAN – The Syrian army said on Sunday it had repulsed a major offensive by Islamic State militants in the northeastern city of Hasaka and drove out fighters who had taken over key installations on the southern edge of the city.
The northeastern corner of Syria is strategically important because it links areas controlled by Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Syrian
Kurds have also sought to expand their territorial control over a region that streches from Kobani to Qamishili they see as part of a future historic Kurdish state. The militants, approaching from their stronghold the city of Shadadi, further south of Hasaka city, made lighting advances this week after conducting around a dozen suicide attacks using explosives-laden trucks on army checkpoints in the city. But Syrian state television, quoting an army source, said in a newsflash they had taken back an electricity station, a juvenile prison and two villages almost two kilometers (one mile) south of the city that had been occupied by militants.