Current map of fighting in Hasaka
HASAKA, Syria - Islamic state fighters have launched a heavy attack on the majority Kurdish city of Hasaka in northeast Syria, according to local media and Rudaw sources.
A witness told Rudaw the south and southwest of the large city are under intense ISIS assaults.
The source said ISIS now controls Ehdas prison, a juvenile correction facility in the south of the city and gun battles are raging in Ebyad village 10km south of Hasaka.
Syrian state TV had earlier reported that ISIS has sent five suicide car bombs at defenders of the prison before attacking.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian air force is taking part in the battle and that ISIS gunmen have entered the prison building
Hasaka, in an area of Syria known by Kurds as Rojava, had been defended by government forces and Kurdish militias known collectively as YPG or People's Protection Units.
Media reports suggested the the heavy fighting was a counter-attack by the extremists to who had previously lost ground in the area to Kurdish fighters.
The city of Hasaka, the administrative center of a fertile province of the same name, has an estimated population of 500,000.