Hasakah -- Militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) launched on Wednesday an offensive on headquarters of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's northeastern Hasakah Governorate.
The attack, which took place near the city of Shaddadi in the southern countryside of Hasakah, came as an attempt by ISIS to regain positions that were taken by the Kurdish forces in February 2016.
ISIS militants hit YPG headquarters in al-Malha town in western Shaddadi with dozens of mortar shells, a Kurdish officer told ARA News.
Dozens of Kurdish fighters were either killed or injured in the offensive, amidst massive destruction in al-Malha caused by ISIS shelling.
"ISIS militants brought heavy reinforcements from Margada town to the southern suburbs of Shaddadi in preparation for further attacks on headquarters of the YPG and allied Syrian Democratic Forces," local media activist Ismael al-Ahmed told ARA News.
Margada is the Islamic State's last stronghold in Hasakah Governorate. It is located on the administrative border between Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor Governorates.
"Our forces are now fortifying Shaddadi city to repel Daesh's attempt to hit our defences in southern Hasakah," a spokesman for the YPG said, using another acronym for ISIS.
In mid February 2016, Kurdish YPG units and allied fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the liberation of Shaddadi city in Hasakah province from the Islamic State's militants, after months of battles with the radical group.
ISIS militants had evacuated their headquarters in Shaddadi under heavy bombardment by the Kurdish-Arab alliance of the SDF. "More than 275 ISIS militants were killed and 33 ISIS vehicles were destroyed at the hands of the SDF fighters in the battle for Shaddadi," the SDF spokesman Talal Silo had told ARA News at the time.
The progress came after the SDF units, supported by an air cover from the U.S.-led coalition, cut off the main supply route for the ISIS radical group in al-Hawl near Syria's northeastern border with Iraq. However, since then ISIS has been trying to infiltrate into the area, launching mortar and car bomb attacks.