Triggered Thursday evening by a major assault by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) on Ghwayran prison, one of the largest housing jihadists in Syria at war, the clashes forced thousands of civilians to flee in a cold glacial.
The assault was launched by a hundred fighters from theIS to free their comrades detained in this prison in the Hassaké region, under Kurdish control.
This attack is the largest claimed by theIS since its defeat in 2019 in Syria by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by Kurdish forces and supported by the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH),
84 jihadists and 45 Kurdish fighters were killed in four days, as well as
seven civilians in these fights that take place in and around the prison.
The the fighters of the, their forces having cordoned off the area. IS being within the walls of the prison could no longer escapeMSDS said in a statement thatIS inside the prison compound could no longer escape”,”text”:”ISIS fighters inside the prison compound could no longer escape”}}”>
According to’OSDH, the MSDS secured almost the entire sector and a large part of the prison, with the exception of a few cells. They are supported by the aviation of the international coalition.
TheMSDS had deployed in force in and around the prison, looking for the jihadists and calling via loudspeakers for civilians to leave the area.
Civilians flee the fighting
According to local Kurdish authorities, thousands of people have left their homes near the prison.
enter houses and kill people, told the AFP a resident fleeing on foot.
It’s a miracle we made it out alive, he said, carrying a child buried in a woolen blanket.
The situation is still very bad. After four days, the fierce fighting continues.
Hamcha Sweidan, an 80-year-old woman who also managed to escape, said:
We were going to die of hunger and thirst. And
now we don’t know where to go.
Fighting was heard in neighboring sectors, a correspondent from theAFP.
About 100 escapees were caught by Kurdish forces, but dozens are still on the run, the report said.OSDH.
TheMSDS claimed to have seized explosive belts, weapons and ammunition during the counterattack.
For their part, the assailants indicated that they seized weapons and freed
hundreds of jihadists.
In a video released on Saturday, theIS shows about 25 men, some of them in military clothes, claiming that they are Kurds captured during the assault.
Commenting on the video,MSDS claimed the captives were staff working in the prison kitchen.
According to Nicholas Heras of the Newlines Institute in Washington,
prison breaks represent the best opportunity for IS to regain its strength and Ghwayran prison is a good target, as it is overcrowded.
But for the anti-jihadist coalition,IS does not pose a significant threat”,”text”:”this IS escape attempt does not pose a significant threat”}}”>this attempt to escape from the. She estimates in a press release on Sunday thatIS remains a threat, it clearly no longer has its former strength”,”text”:”if IS remains a threat, it clearly no longer has its former strength”}}”> IS does not pose a significant threatif the. IS remains a threat, he clearly no longer has his former strength
The Kurds, who control parts of northern and northeastern Syria, have been calling for years in vain for the repatriation of some 12,000 jihadists of more than 50 nationalities – European and other – held in their prisons.
Many of these prisons were originally schools and are therefore ill-suited to holding inmates for the long term.
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.
Despite losing in 2019, theIS still manages to carry out deadly attacks thanks to sleeper cells.
The conflict has killed around 500,000 people according to the OSDH, devastated the country’s infrastructure and displaced millions of people.