The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) is preparing for round tw0 of their large-scale offensive at the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah; this comes 45 days after they were officially kicked out of the city by the independent forces of the predominately Kurdish “People Protection Units” (YPG) and the Syrian Arab Army’s 4th Mechanized Division.
However, unlike the last battle for Al-Hasakah City, the YPG is in control of the surrounding villages and the majority of the districts inside the provincial capital; meanwhile, the civilian-led National Defense Forces (NDF) are confined to small area inside the city, with the Syrian Arab Army’s 121st Regiment of the 17th Reserve Division entrenched in Kawkab to the east.
According to reports from Al-Hasakah, the terrorist group has been spotted only a few hundred meters from the YPG’s defensive positions inside the provincial capital; if they ISIS were to attack the aforementioned militia’s frontlines, it would likely come from the rugged areas at the southern and eastern flanks of the city.
Much of ISIS’ success during the last offensive came from their sleeper cells and tunnels they had inside the Al-Ghuweiran and Al-Nashwa Districts of Al-Hasakah City.
ISIS will not have the luxury of these sleeper cells and tunnels this time around, as the YPG and the Syrian Armed Forces have unearthed most of the sites, while seizing the contents that included supplies like gas masks and IED materials.