The attacks on Hassakeh and Kobani came days after Kurdish fighters and their allies captured the Islamic State stronghold of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey and the town of Ein Issa to the south. Kurdish fighters have been advancing since January, thanks to coalition airstrikes.
As the Kobane attack began on Thursday, Daesh forces also entered the northeastern city of Hasakeh.
The dual assaults on government forces in Hasaka and Deraa, both provincial capitals, are a test of Assad’s resolve to hold out in remote outposts beyond the western part of the country that is seen as the top priority for his survival.
According to data from the USA Central Command in the last 10 months, the alliance has conducted a total of 4,624 airstrikes against Daesh targets 2,850 inside Iraq while 1,774 in Syria.
“The Iranians must understand that we will catch them if they cheat and that the price will be high even for lesser transgressions”, Ross said.
While the media often talks about areas under being under a certain group’s control, Syria’s vast landscape means that most factions only truly hold urban centers and access roads, which means that IS could theoretically sneak through some 30 kilometers of Kurdish-controlled territory without being spotted.
Meanwhile, during another attack on Kobani’s district center, Daesh seized buildings called the “quadruple security belt” which were used by Syrian-Kurdish forces as headquarters.
Syrian state TV reported intense clashes inside Hassakeh’s southern neighborhood of Nashawi.
“Three IS auto bombs infiltrated Kobane“.
The victims included women and children, Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman told dpa.
Kobani was the site of one of the biggest battles against Islamic State a year ago.
This latest attack comes as ISIS had lost ground due to the Kurdish militia backed by the USA.
He said at least 12 civilians and Kurdish fighters had been killed in the vehicle bomb and the subsequent fighting in the town, along with eight Islamic State militants. “They were beheaded by IS militants who came dressed in the uniforms of the (Kurdish) YPG”.
In a third attack, Islamic State militants executed at least 20 people, mostly civilians, in Berxbutan village some 35 kilometers south of Kobane, the Observatory said.
It seemed unlikely they would pass these by and then go to the crossing to kill civilians, he said.
Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said in a statement posted to Twitter that 96 people had been wounded in the fighting in Kobani and that four people were killed Thursday. Some patients have also been admitted to the Akcakale state hospital on the border, according to Anadolu.
Kobani is a strategically valuable city that sits on the border with Turkey.
The location of the attack, on the northern edge of Kobane adjoining the Turkish border, drew immediate allegations of Turkish involvement from Kurdish activists, who have long accused Turkey of covertly helping the Islamic State in order to prevent Kurds from consolidating control over territory adjoining Turkey.
Kurdish forces backed by US-led air strikes and Peshmerga fighters from Iraq scored a major victory in January by winning a hugely symbolic battle for Kobani. “There were less defensive forces positioned in Kobane”, says volunteer Jamal Abelqader, another Kobane native and one of dozens of men and women perched on a hill to watch the clashes unfold below.