The miltants were hiding out in the Khashman district of Hasaka. Khashman is a poor, run-down suburb on the outskirts of the city.
There have been a rash of supposed Syrian victories over militants since the start of the year. This from a country with a security apparatus so firm that it would always deny dissent or the existence of rebels in its territory.
So there have been suspicions that these attacks have been timed to coincide with the new American pressure on Syria.
Were the Syrian authorities were inventing battles to show the US that they were on the same side in the ‘War on Terror’. It also gives belligerents in the Bush Administration a taste of what’s to come if they overthrow Bashar’s government: the dreaded boogeyman of the Al-Qaida-affiliated Muslim Brotherhood, which Syria has kept down for 20 years. But most importantly it shows that Syria is dealing with militants in its territory before they can cross the border into Iraq.
So it is no surprise that the announcements of the Syrian attacks on militants have come straight from the government – the state-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency.
But today’s attack marks a change. The announcement came from Human Rights Groups in Hasaka. And the government hasn’t yet confirmed it. Human Rights Groups have been scathing of the government in recent years – for imprisioning activists and closing down independent publications.
Pan-Arab Islamist group
Today’s attack is said to be on ‘Jund Ash-Sham’, one militant was killed and three have been arrested. A member of the security forces was also injured. The Jund Ash-Sham group has been plaguing Syria in recent months. They were planning to attack Damascus, and have been blamed for other terrorist outrages across the Arab world.