Syria Direct: News Update 6-24-15

Islamic State conducts three-pronged Hasakah suicide attack

The Islamic State carried out a triple suicide attack on Kurdish and regime forces in Al-Hasakah city Wednesday, leaving dozens killed and wounded between soldiers and civilians.
 
The first and second attacks, carried out with explosive-laden cars, targeted an Asayish (Kurdish police loyal to the PYD) headquarters and a National Defense Forces (shabiha) headquarters, reported IS-affiliated Amaq news.
 
“The first explosion killed at least 12 Asayish, including the commander of the headquarters and his deputy,” Ali al-Harith, a citizen journalist in al-Hasakah city, told Syria Direct Wednesday.
 
In the third incident, four fighters wearing suicide belts attacked the regime’s Camel Regiment [Fauj al-Hajana], clashing with soldiers before detonating their explosives.
 
As of Wednesday, the death toll from the attacks, excluding Asayish casualties, totaled 11 civilians, “most of them children,” and five soldiers, including two officers, reportedpro-regime National Hasakah News. Fifty civilians were wounded.
 
The Islamic State has launched attacks on the provincial capital before in an attempt to establish a foothold in Al-Hasakah, which is jointly ruled by the Kurdish PYD and regime forces.

Druze seek refuge with Balaus against military service

Approximately 100 young men from Suwayda province escaped their regime military service Tuesday by fleeing from their posts in the east of the province and taking refuge with the Sheikh Waheed al-Balaus at his home in al-Mazraa,reported pro-opposition Suwayda Khabar.
 
The young men signed up for service after hearing assurances from Druze religious leader Sheikh al-Hijri earlier this month that Druze would serve only within the borders of the province.  They later fled their posts after Syrian army officers treated them poorly and threatened to send them to the eastern Daraa countryside for service, according to one of the young men who spoke to Suwayda Khabar Tuesday.
 
Earlier this month, another group of Druze young men fledfrom mandatory military service and sought refuge with Sheikh Balaus after learning they would be sent out of the province.