Islamic State at the gates of Al-Hasakah city
The Islamic State (IS) has reportedly captured an electrical power station and regime checkpoint 1.5km from the southern gates of Al-Hasakah city, prompting the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to deploy reinforcements to positions inside Al-Hasakah city on Thursday.
“IS captured the electrical station, just south of Al-Hasakah–they’re even shelling Basil Circle, in the heart of the city,” Ali Al-Huraith, a Hasakah–based journalist, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
In response to the ongoing IS assault, the YPG sent a convoy of fighters, truck-mounted anti-aircraft and heavy machine guns to Al-Hasakah city, reported the YPG Media Center, the official media wing of the YPG, on Facebook Wednesday.
“YPG units spread throughout the city, protecting Kurdish neighborhoods and interests, but IS hasn’t entered the city just yet,” Siraj al-Din al-Hasakawi, a Hasakah-based journalist told Syria Direct on Thursday.
Missiles take Idlib hospital out of service
Regime warplanes struck Salam hospital in Idlib city with vacuum missiles in a continuation of “collective punishment” for residents of rebel-controlled areas, the director of the opposition Civil Defense told Syria Direct on Thursday.
“Attacking hospitals and Civil Defense centers is one of the policies the regime uses to collectively punish the Syrian people, especially those who live in areas outside its control,” said Raed Salih, the head of the Syrian Civil Defense emergency-response organization.
The bombing killed one civilian and injured dozens in addition to forcing the hospital to stop its operations due to damage,reported opposition news outlets.
“The regime has attacked several hospitals in Idlib: the National Hospital, the Red Crescent hospital, the Orient Hospital,” said Salih, adding that the Palace of Justice and one of the city’s central bakeries had also been targeted since rebels took control of Idlib city at the end of March.
“There are no hospitals left in the city; the humanitarian situation, especially the health situation, is very tough and we don’t have a way to fix it.”
Regime drops barrel bombs across north Aleppo countryside
Syrian army helicopters dropped a series of barrel bombs across the northern Aleppo countryside on Wednesday, hitting an outdoor market and residential buildings, among other targets.
One barrel bomb struck a crowded market in the rebel-controlled Jab al-Qubbeh village, killing 24 civilians and critically injuring 20 others, said Ibrahim Abu al-Laith, an official from the Aleppo Civil Defense office, as quoted by Smart News.
Four barrel bombs also hit different locations including residential buildings in Tal Rafat city, 40km north of Aleppo, killing 18 civilians and critically injuring more than 30 others, a city spokesman told Smart News.
The Violation Documentations Center reported nearly 2,600 civilian deaths from barrel bombs in Aleppo province between 2014 and 2015 alone, while President Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly denied the military’s use of the indiscriminate weapons.
Aftermath of Aleppo bombings. Photo courtesy of AMC.