Intense fighting in Syria after IS attacks

CHECK POINT: Syrian Kurds who have just fled their homes due to clashes between IS fighters and Kurdish security forces, arrive at a checkpoint in the city of Hasaka, northeastern Syria, on January 21, 2022.

On Thursday, IS fighters attacked a prison in the city of Hasaka, northeast of Syria. Security forces are still fighting to gain control of the area.

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Intense fighting is taking place in northeastern Syria after IS attacked the Kurdish-run Ghwayran prison in the city of Hasaka. Kurdish-led forces, backed by US airstrikes, have been battling militants in Hasaka since the attack took place on Thursday this week.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 28 people in the Kurdish security force have lost their lives, in addition to five civilians and 58 IS members, writes BBC.

IS published a video on Saturday in which they claimed that several IS members had been released in the attack on the prison. They are also said to have taken several hostages, according to the video.

Hundreds of prisoners have been brought back to prison, but some are still on the run, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Kurdish security forces have surrounded the prison and are fighting for control of nearby neighborhoods. People have fled their homes.

ESCAPES: People have fled their homes due to intense fighting in northeastern Syria after IS attacked the Kurdish-run Ghwayran prison in the city of Hasaka.

The prison houses 3,500 IS fighters from more than 50 countries, including some of the leaders. The attack is IS’s most ambitious since the defeat in Syria almost three years ago.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which receives information from a network of sources in Syria, a car bomb hit the entrance to Ghwayran prison. There was also an explosion nearby, before IS fighters attacked Kurdish security forces manning the prison, writes France24.

This is not the first time IS has tried to break into a prison in the region, the last time was in Derik in 2019. Then it was the American air attack that put an end to the attack.

THE BATTLES AWAY: Kurdish security forces have surrounded the prison and are fighting for control of nearby neighborhoods. People arrive at the SDF’s checkpoint in northeastern Syria, January 21, 2022.

Condolences

The Pentagon confirms that the US-led coalition carried out air strikes. The spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, says in one press release that they commend the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for their involvement in the fight against IS in northeastern Syria.

“We offer our condolences to the families of the guards who were injured and killed in the first bombing and subsequent fighting,” Price said in the press release.

According to the report, IS has had as a top priority to attack the prison for over a year. Price says the attack highlights the importance of and the need to fund the global coalition to fight IS.

– It is the credit of the Global Coalition and the SDF that they have managed to prevent a number of attacks during this period, and limited the severity of this attack. They have made a diligent and skilled effort, the spokesperson says.

ATTACK: The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are fighting against IS in the city of Hasaka, northeast of Syria on January 21, 2022.

Price further says that they continue to stand together with their partners to fight IS in the region. According to a local resident, support for IS has grown in the area due to dissatisfaction among the Arab population, who accuse the Kurdish-controlled administration of discrimination, writes Reuters. The Kurdish-controlled administration denies this.

– IS is still trying to destabilize the region. The attack is a strong reminder of the very real challenges facing the region.

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