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Syria Direct: News Update 9-17-2014

Last rebel neighborhood in Al-Hasakah falls The Kurdish PYD and […]

17 September 2014

Last rebel neighborhood in Al-Hasakah falls

The Kurdish PYD and the regime wrested control of the Ghweiran neighborhood in Al-Hasakah city from rebel sympathizers Tuesday, ending a standoff that began last month, according to pro-opposition news agency Siraj Press.

“The Ghweiran fighters completely departed the neighborhood,” Majd Abidi, the spokesperson for the pro-opposition Public Agency for the Syrian Revolution in Al-Hasakah, told Syria Direct Wednesday.

By capturing Ghweiran, the PYD and the regime hope to consolidate their control over the provincial capital before turning their attention to the growing Islamic State presence in the region.

A settlement negotiated by local tribal leaders between the Ghweiran fighters and the PYD and regime ceded rebel control of the neighborhood and escorted them outside of the city.

“Some of the fighters left in the direction of IS-controlled areas, others to PYD-controlled territory and the rest went to Turkey to escape,” Abidi said.

Meanwhile, official state media SANA celebrated the victory over the rebels, without mentioning the Kurdish role.

“Members of our armed forces in cooperation with the National Defense [shabiha] restored stability and security to the neighborhood of Ghweiran.”

Rebels continue fight in northern Hama

Rebels associated with Jabhat a-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army captured a strategic village on Wednesday in northern Hama, signaling their intent to continue the fight in the province even as the campaign to take the Hama military airport appears to be winding down, according to local pro-opposition news agency Hama Revolutionaries’ Union.

Tel Meleh is north of the Christian regime-controlled city of Mherda, which serves as a launching point for regime attacks in the area, and is situated on a hill that overlooks the region. The rebels plan to bomb Mherda and other regime posts in the area from Tel Meleh.

The rebels managed to take over the town after they sent reinforcements to the area, according to pro-regime news agency Hama Now.

Despite the rebel gains Wednesday, losses of the rebel bases of Halfaya and Rahbat Khatab over the last week have largely crippled the once-potent campaign to capture the Hama military airport.

Strike deprives Deir e-Zor of electricity

Surface-to-surface missiles struck a building belonging to the General Electricity Company in predominantly Islamic State-controlled Deir e-Zor city Wednesday, cutting off electricity from wide swathes of the city, according to pro-opposition Syrian Revolution News.

As of publishing, no party has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The strike comes two days after the regime hit the Siyasiya Bridge in Deir e-Zor city with surface-to-surface missiles, taking the crossing out of commission. 

Siyasiya Bridge, which connects Deir e-Zor city with the countryside to the north, was the main entry point for food and medicine into Deir e-Zor city, as well as a supply line for Islamic State fighters in their bid to control it.

DeirEzor Regime bombing cripples Deir e-Zor. Photo courtesy of @Shamisurgeon.

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