Dozens of deaths in fierce battles around Syrian IS prison

In northeastern Syria, members of Islamic State and Kurdish guards are engaged in a fierce battle around a prison where IS fighters are trapped. In four days, there were at least 136 deaths, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights today.

Among the deaths, according to the Observatory, are 84 IS fighters and 45 guards and members of counterterrorism units. Seven civilians would also have died.

According to the organization, hundreds of IS prisoners have escaped, some of whom have now been arrested again.

Biggest attack

On Thursday, more than a hundred heavily armed IS militants attacked the prison in Hasakah, where thousands of IS fighters are trapped. The prison is guarded by soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of Arab militias and Kurdish fighters. The SDF announced on Thursday that ISs attack had been averted and that IS fighters who had escaped had been arrested again.

However, IS claims that over 800 jihadists have escaped from prison in recent days. IS would also have captured dozens of guards.

The terror movement is often trying to free fellow fighters from SDF prisons in northeastern Syria. However, Thursdays raid and subsequent battles are the biggest attack of the terror movement in Syria since the fall of the IS Caliphate in 2019.

According to a spokesperson for the SDF, many IS fighters entrenched themselves in a nearby residential area. There was a fierce fight. A resident tells AP news agency that helicopters are constantly in the air and many citizens have fled the district.

IS threat

Kurdish fighters are trying to regain control of the prison with American help. The Pentagon confirmed on Friday that a US-led coalition had launched air strikes to support the SDF guards. According to a spokesperson, the IS threat had not disappeared at that time. โ€œWell stay focused on that,โ€ he said on Friday.

Of the prisons for IS fighters in Syria, it is one of the largest in Hasakah. An estimated 5,000 IS sympathizers are held, including a few former commanders. In the SDF guarded prisons in Syria are also fifteen Dutch Syria-goers.