Report on the events in Hasaka City on June 24th until 07th July 2015
Hasaka city is located in the northeast of Syria, where Jakjq River flows into Khabur River. It is the center of the Syrian Hasaka – Province and located around 600km away from Damascus, 400km from Aleppo City and about 179km from Deir ez-Zor.
At around 5pm on June 24th, a car bomb detonated in Sinalco – roundabout in the city of Hasaka. The explosion led to losses in nearby buildings causing instability among the people of the region. At around 10pm on the same day, further attacks by ISIS began on the southern part of the city in Al – Nashwa area. As a result of the fighting between ISIS militias and the the regime, a large number of families was displaced to nearby areas (Salhia, Azizia and Alclasah), as they were considered to be the safest areas.
Clashes continued until the morning of June 25th, when at 9.30am several ISIS militias managed to control the Western part of Nashwa and began to extend their control and attack on other areas, which caused in the relocation of the displaced people to neighboring cities to the city of Hasaka (Amuda, Qamishli, Qahtaniyah etc.). On June 26th, ISIS militias were able to control the children’s hospital, Criminal Security as well as the Faculty of Arts and reached parts of Guerran area after controlling the central juvenile prison of al-Hasakah and began shelling other regions such as Salhia and Azizia from areas that they dominated. This caused an increase in displacement from the city of Hasaka to neighboring cities. On June 26th, the number of displaced civilians reached 60,000 people, according to statistics by the United Nations.
ISIS militias succeeded to progress to the regions of Azizia and Salehia after fierce battles between them and YPG (“People’s protection forces”). At that time, ISIS was controlling the National Hospital in Alazizia and Ismail – Toukan – school. According to statistics carried out by “Roj Ava”- organization, itself being part of the self-governed cantons of Rojava, the number of displaced people fleeing to nearby cities had risen as follows:
|Number of displaced families||City/region||Number of displaced families||City/region|
On June 28th YPG forces managed to regain control of the National Hospital, Ismail-Toukan – school after pushing back ISIS militias from the region.
During clashes between the regime and ISIS militias, the regime used warplanes and bombed Sadcob – gas station, which was under the control of ISIS leading to the retreat of ISIS from the main centers. ISIS militias then moved back to the areas of Al – Nashwa and Guerran using these areas as starting points for shooting missiles at neighboring areas.
Battles continued between ISIS on the one hand and YPG forces and regime on the other hand, leading to the following situation in the city of Hasaka on June 4th:
The regime regained control of the sports city and youth housing in the city while YPG forces took control of the south and southwest villages of Al – Nashwa such as Suda village, Alabd, Abyed and the last roundabout of Al – Nashwa and tightened control over the supply ways of ISIS from the south.
ISIS is still in control of the Western part of Al – Nashwa and also still controls of Al-Humir village, while constantly being exposed to bombardment of YPG forces.
Note: The Arts and Education College in Hasaka of the University of the Euphrates has been burnt down and destroyed by ISIS militias causing the destruction of all student documents at the college. As confirmed by Dr. Fred Saadoun (Dean of the College), the college has been destroyed, still he owns an electronic copy of all students documents being valid until the end of the first semester only of the academic year 2015.
Stories from civilian people in Hasaka:
Mr. (A.H)’s family is one of the smaller families, which emigrated from Al-Azizia neighborhood in Hasaka to Amuda and then to Qamishli City. Like hundreds of other families, they keep having nightmares caused by their fear and the suffering they had gone through since their migration.
(A.H) says: “It was breakfast time on 14th June, 2015, when I started to hear artilleries sound rising in the sky of the city. It was rising and then calming in different periods, this continued until about 10:00 pm when I noticed the intensification of the bombing. It was in the southern outskirts of the city from Al-Nashwa area. After about an hour, I noticed the sounds were rising again, so I went out to the street to find out what was happening. I heard people in the neighborhood saying that ISIS had entered Al-Nashwa zone. At first, I could not believe what they were saying in the past ISIS had just been able to bomb these areas from afar.
I stayed in front of my house door for some time. Suddenly I saw several cars bringing families into the neighborhood, all of which seemed very frightened. One of the cars stopped nearby my neighbor’s house. They were my neighbor’s relatives. Their women and children did not stop crying and kept saying that ISIS attacked them. I then entered the house, worried about these news, especially since the bombing sounds were not reducing. It was a long night. The sound of guns and heavy weaponry kept rising in the sky of Hasaka until the morning of 25th June. We then heard unhappy news saying that ISIS controlled Al-Nashwa neighborhood and that they were advancing towards other areas. On the same day, a lot of families left their homes and went to the cities of Qamishli, Amuda and Derbasia. I myself could not leave my home because of my children are and my old mom not being able to walk anymore. Since by that time I had no car, I stayed with my family in the house. In the morning of 26th June, ISIS was approaching from the surrounding neighborhoods. Then I noticed a sniper targeting pedestrians at the entrance to the neighborhood. There was absolutely nobody as well as no transportation system left in the neighborhood. I quickly went back home to save my family. My old mom was not able to walk and my children could not run, as they are still young, so I had to leave my mother at home. Although being afraid of snipers went out walking between the streets until my family and I arrived at the entrance of the city roundabout (Al-Sabagh roundabout).
It was a very painful since many thousand families were in fact attacking the overland buses to save their lives. Harsh sunlight was making the situation only worse. A lot of buses were coming from other areas to take people to the safest areas. Our big luck was a bus which took us to Amouda. I have not got any relatives or friends in Amouda, but the only thing I wanted it was to save my children and my wife from Amouda to Qamishly City and now here we are here in this small house. Two rooms and a kitchen with four other families from Al-Hasakah. We will keep living in this house, waiting for our return to our house in Al-Hasakah when ISIS has been thrown out of the town after all.”
UKSSD e. V
Central Media Office