HASAKEH, KOMPAS.com – A great battle raged on the third day on Saturday (22/1/2022) between ISIS and teams Kurdish from Syria, after ISIS attacked prisons containing militias and claimed more than 70 lives.
The attack on Ghwayran prison in the city of Hasakeh was one of the most significant by ISIS since it was declared defeated in Syria nearly three years ago.
“At least 28 members of the Kurdish security forces, five civilians and 45 ISIS members were killed” in the fighting, said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
ISIS on Thursday night (20/1/2022) launched an attack on a prison housing about 3,500 suspected militia members, including several of its leaders, the Observatory said. AFP.
The militias confiscated weapons they found in the detention centre, added the Britain-based monitor, who relied on sources inside Syria for information.
Hundreds of militia convicts have been recaptured, but dozens more are believed to be still at large, the Observatory added.
The prison is surrounded by Kurdish forces with the support of the international coalition.
“Fighting is going on on the north side of the prison,” said Farhad Shami, spokesman for the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), calling the situation extraordinary.
The militia group said in a statement released on Friday (21/1/2022) by the news agency Amaq, his attacks on prisons were aimed at freeing the prisoners.
ISIS has carried out frequent attacks on Kurdish and government targets in Syria since its once-widespring state of Proton was seized in March 2019.
Most of their attacks have targeted military targets and oil installations in remote areas, but the break into the Hasakeh prison could mark a new phase of the group’s rise.
It is not yet known whether the attack on the prison was part of a centrally coordinated operation – coinciding with an attack on a military base in neighboring Iraq – or the action of a local ISIS cell.
Analyst Nicholas Heras of the Newlines Institute in Washington said the jihadist group was targeting prisons to increase its membership.
“(ISIS) wants to move beyond the terrorist and criminal networks it has devolved into, and to do that they need more members,” he told AFP.
“The prison break is the best chance for ISIS to regain its weapons power, and Ghwayran prison is a great big target for ISIS because it’s overcrowded,” he said.
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