Syrian Kurds march on

YPG fighters seized the ISIS bastion of Tel Hamis in Hasakeh.

YPG fighter. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

BEIRUT – Nearly a week after launching a major anti-ISIS offensive in northeast Syria, Kurdish fighters notched a key victory by seizing the Islamist-held town of Tel Hamis.


The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced Friday afternoon that they had “completely liberated the town of Tel Hamis, which was a stronghold of the terrorist Islamic State.”


“The liberation campaign launched on February 20 was completed today with the freeing of the town from the clutches of the terrorist mercenaries,” the armed forces of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) added.


Meanwhile the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that YPG fighters took control of the southern and southeastern outskirts of Tel Hamis, a small town to the north of Hasakeh, where they have been fighting Islamic State (ISIS) militants for six days.


YPG troops also successfully took control of 103 villages, farms and settlements in northeastern Syria with support from coalition warplanes and the Al-Sanadid Army—a tribal militia led by the Governor of Iraq’s Al-Jazira Province Hamidi Dahham al-Hadi, the monitoring group added.


“Clashes and intensive coalition strikes have led to the death of 175 ISIS members over the last 6 days. Dozens of YPG and Al-Sanadid Army troops have also died and gone missing in the fighting.”


In another report published on Friday, Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar cited a YPG spokesperson as saying that “more than 100 [ISIS] mercenaries have been killed since the beginning of the campaign in the Tel Hamis area.”


Amid the fierce Kurdish-ISIS fighting, a number of Arab tribes in the area accused the YPG fighters of “committing  crimes against the inhabitants of villages near Tel Hamis, according to the report.


“What is happening is organized displacement of the residents of those villages,” the newspaper cited an unnamed source as saying.


However, Kurdish Women’s Protection Units commander Nisreen Abdallah denied the accusations in a press conference, saying that “all inhumane practices were driven out in the trenches of war.”


“The campaign brought the spirit of brotherhood, and resistance among the areas different groups to the forefront.”


Over the past week, the Hasakeh Governorate has also witnessed fierce engagements in the Tel Tamer region, pitting ISIS against units from the YPG and its allied Assyrian Christian militia, the Syriac Military Council.


On Monday, ISIS counterattacked in the Assyrian-populated Tel Tamer area, seizing a number of villages and kidnapping at least 200 Christians in a bid to force YPG units into a prisoner exchange.


The Syriac Military Council issued a statement Thursday pleading the international community to aid the joint military campaign to defend Assyrian-populated villages.


The group called on world powers “to provide support by sending military equipment and heavy weapons capable of changing the balance of power on the ground and support the military operations of our units to fight ISIS.”


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Thursday that at least 70 Assyrian, YPG and ISIS fighters had been killed in the clashes raging for the past three days around Tel Tamer.

A Kurdish marksman rests atop a destroyed building. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

The liberation campaign launched on February 20 was completed today with the freeing of the town from the clutches of the terrorist mercenaries.

  • Hanibaal-Atheos

    The entire Kurdish province of Hasakah should declare its secession from the Baathist entity and declare its merger with the Autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, and together they should declare their independent Kurdistan from both Iraq and Syria. The Kurds were denied their self-determination 100 years ago when World War I ended because Arabs, Turks and Persians stole their lands. The next battle is a much more serious undertaking: to free the Kurds of Turkey and Iran and allow them to join in the growing Greater Kurdistan. But for now, the liberation of the Kurds from Fascist Sunni Arabs is almost over and that is a very good thing. Arabism (العروبة), and with it Baathism and Syrianism (الحزب القومي السوري) and other supra-nationalist Arab Fascist ideologies, have failed since their inception about 100 hundred years ago. In recent decades, the rise of Islamism is essentially an admission of that failure and an attempt at salvaging dead pan-Arab nationalist Fascism and replacing it with Islamic Fascism. But that too is proving to be an utter failure. Sooner or later, the religious neanderthals of Islam will have to suffer the fate of their Christian and Jewish brethren, step aside from public life, stay in their mosques reading their dusty garbage from the Stone Age and leave people alone. A free and independent Kurdistan is only the beginning in what is likely to be a long and painful metamorphosis in the old order in this region.

    February 28, 2015