The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and paramilitary National Defense Forces (NDF) forced the Islamic State militants out of the eastern Syrian city of Hasakah after days of fierce battles, hereby declaring the city a ‘safe zone’ with no trace of ISIS militants.
The infamous jihadis fled their final hideouts in the Al-Zohour neighborhood after being smashed by Army warplanes and artillery bombardment that left dozens of the extremist militants dead and wounded.
However, the retreating ISIS militants left behind thousands of mines and IEDs planted almost everywhere.
Immediately after their retreat, engineering army units began defusing the explosives from the Economics and Civil Engineering collages in the city.
In their latest offensive to take over the eastern provincial capital, ISIS massacred large numbers of civilians, destroyed houses and burnt government-owned oil tanks, thus wasting away more than 16 million liters of diesel.
Thousands of civilians left their houses in villages around Hasakah and sought refuge to the government-controlled areas inside the city.
Located in the far northeastern corner of Syria, Hasakah is only 2-hour drive from ISIS de facto capital of al-Raqqa.
Hasakah comprises a mixture of ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians and Armenians among others.