Syrian troops battle to repel Islamic State attack on city of Hasaka

BEIRUT – Syrian troops and militia battled on Wednesday to repel an Islamic State attack on the city of Hasaka in the northeast, and a Kurdish official said the government forces may not be able to hold off the jihadists.

Hasaka city is divided into zones run separately by the government of President Bashar Assad and a Kurdish administration, whose well-organised militia YPG receives air support from a US-led alliance bombing Islamic State. The YPG has dealt Islamic State heavy blows elsewhere in the northeast since early May, driving it out of swathes of the province bordering Iraq and Turkey. Islamic State now appears intent on making up for those losses by storming government-held areas of Hasaka city, where it sees Syrian troops as a weaker adversary than the Kurds, a YPG spokesman and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.



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