It’s a rare attack. The Islamic State (IS) group on Thursday launched an assault on a prison controlled by Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria, freeing an unknown number of jihadists.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), the NGO which reported the information, did not immediately report possible victims in this attack which took place in the city of Hassaké controlled by the Syrian Kurds. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by Kurdish fighters and spearheading the fight against ISIS, confirmed the assault on Ghwayran prison, one of the largest housing jihadists in Syria, but not the escape of jihadists.
According to the OSDH, a car bomb exploded at the entrance to the prison and a second explosion occurred nearby before IS jihadists attacked the Kurdish security forces guarding the prison establishment head-on. . Ghwayran is one of the largest detention centers housing IS fighters in Syria, a country at war since 2011, OSDH director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
In a statement, an SDF spokesman, Ferhad Sahmi, said that “the situation inside the prison is now under control” and reported “intermittent clashes between Kurdish fighters and jihadists near the jail “.
Overview of the coalition
Planes of the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States flew over the area and dropped flares in the vicinity of the prison, according to the OSDH.
According to Kurdish authorities, who control large swaths of northern Syria, some 12,000 jihadists of more than 50 nationalities are being held in prisons under their control. On the front line in the fight against IS, the SDF, supported by the international coalition, defeated the jihadist group in Syria in 2019 by driving it out of its last stronghold of Baghouz in the province of Deir Ezzor (east).
Despite its defeat, IS is carrying out deadly attacks, particularly in the vast Syrian desert, which stretches from the central province of Homs to that of Deir Ezzor, on the border with Iraq. These attacks target both the Syrian army and its allies and the Kurdish forces, long supported by Washington in their fight against the IS which sowed terror in these two countries and perpetrated bloody attacks around the world.