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Kurds regain control of prison attacked by IS | Syria: the spiral of war


The fighting that followed the assault launched on January 20 to free jihadists from the prison in Hassaké (north-east), controlled by Kurdish forces, left 181 dead – 124 jihadists, 50 Kurdish fighters and 7 civilians – according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).

They also forced to flee in freezing weather about 45,000 people who lived in areas near Ghwayran prison, according to theUnited Nations.

The resumption of Total control of the prison took place after the surrender of all the jihadists entrenched there, said Farhad Shami, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (MSDS) dominated by the Kurds and spearheading the fight against ISIS in Syria, a country at war since 2011.

L’OSDH confirmed the seizure of the prison by Kurdish forces, but stressed that they continued to comb it.

More than a hundred jihadists inside and outside the prison took part in the coordinated assault launched on January 20 against the detention center.

Prisoners, who mutinied against the guards and served in an armory, took part in the fighting alongside attackers who managed to infiltrate the prison.

This is the largest attack launched by theIS since its territorial defeat in Syria in 2019 by Kurdish forces. Truck bombs and heavy weapons were used in the assault.

The MSDS were aided by US soldiers from the Washington-led international anti-jihadist coalition in their operation to regain control of the prison.

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According to’OSDH, an unknown number of jihadists have managed to escape since Thursday. And more than 1,000 jihadists, who were detained or who infiltrated during the prison assault, have surrendered to Kurdish forces since January 20, according to reports. MSDS and theOSDH.

The prison housed at least 3,500 jihadists of different nationalities, the report said.OSDH.

Trapped miners

L’United Nations and human rights organizations have also reported hundreds of minors locked up in this former school converted into a detention center. The fate of these minors was not immediately known.

Families crowd into a building.

These Syrians fleeing the fighting near the prison have found refuge in a local mosque, where they live crowded together.

Photo: Getty Images/AFP

The Kurdish forces had to postpone (their attack on the prison) because of the presence of minors and to avoid a maximum of human lossesassured a senior Kurdish official.

On Wednesday, the Kurdish autonomous administration which controls large areas of northern and northeastern Syria renewed its appeal to the international community for help, fearing that theIS grows stronger by recruiting new fighters.

This is an international problem that we cannot solve aloneAbdel Karim Omar, a senior local official, told AFP.

Despite repeated calls from the Kurds, most Western countries refuse to repatriate their citizens who are in prisons and camps, contenting themselves with repatriations in dribs and drabs.

We defeated ISIS territorially, without eliminating the terrorist ideology. »

A quote from Abdel Karim Omar, senior local official
A man in uniform points a gun outside a building.

A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter engaged in the struggle for control of the prison.

Photo: Reuters/North Press Agency Digital

Experts see the attack on the prison as another step towards the resurgence of theISwhich retreated to the Syrian desert after its territorial defeat in Syria in 2019 and neighboring Iraq in 2017.

IS over this area cannot be ruled out”,”text”:”Unless the international community provides sufficient aid, including economic aid, a new control of the IS over this area cannot be ruled out”} }”>Unless the international community provides sufficient aid, including economic aid, a new control of theIS on this area is not to be excludedMr. Omar warned.

Triggered in March 2011 by the repression of pro-democracy demonstrations, the war in Syria has become more complex over the years with the involvement of regional and international powers and the rise of jihadists.

The conflict has killed around 500,000 people, devastated the country’s infrastructure and displaced millions of people.

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