2 min read  | Deir e-Zor, Politics, Reports

Syria Direct: News Update 9-2-14


September 2, 2014

Regime seeks to break holdout neighborhood

Regime warplanes initiated several airstrikes on the holdout neighborhood of Ghweiran in the joint regime-PYD controlled city of al-Hasakah Tuesday, hitting the district with artillery shells from nearby Jabal al-Kawkab, according to the pro-opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The attacks follow reported attempts by PYD forces to storm Ghweiran from the north, resulting in an unspecified number of PYD and resident casualties along the neighborhood’s northern rim.

As of publishing, resident combatants are battling Assad’s forces and have shelled regime positions within the neighborhood, according to the pro-opposition Ghweiran Moment by Moment Facebook page. 

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The ongoing battle for Ghweiran has turned this public garden into a cemetery. Photo courtesy of Hasakah Media Center.

Although anti-regime sentiment exists in Ghweiran, it is unclear which rebel faction holds sway over the neighborhood.

Ghweiran is home to former FSA fighters—including members of the Islamic Front—who returned to the neighborhood after their units were disbanded, in addition to an unknown number of Islamic State (IS) combatants, Omar Abdulaziz, a resident activist, told Syria Direct last month.

A man claiming to be a Ghweiran resident uploaded a video August 28 in which he called on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Caliph of the Islamic State, to intervene and break the joint regime-PYD imposed siege around the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, neighborhood residents broadcast a call for help to the Syrian National Coalition in mid-August, publicizing pictures of a flag bearing the colors of the Syrian revolution.

Renewed regime airstrikes kill IS leader

A new wave of regime airstrikes in Deir e-Zor’s provincial capital killed an IS commander Monday, reported the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The IS leader died after sustaining injuries from the attack, according to pro-regime news agency Al-Hadath News.

The attacks come in the wake of reported fighting on Monday between the regime and IS around the Deir e-Zor Military Airport, as IS attempts to storm the government base, according to Syria News.

IS is trying to consolidate its control over the eastern, oil-rich province of Deir e-Zor, having already driven out rival group Jabhat a-Nusra from the area in July.

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