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In Syria, jihadists escape after the attack on a prison by the Islamic State organization
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In Syria, jihadists escape after the attack on a prison by the Islamic State organization
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Ghwayran, one of the largest detention centers housing jihadists in Syria, was attacked on Thursday January 20 by Islamic State (IS) fighters, who managed to free prisoners.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), which has an extensive network of sources in Syria, a car bomb exploded at the entrance to the prison, and a second explosion occurred nearby before IS jihadists attacked the Kurdish security forces guarding the prison establishment head-on.

“A number of prisoners managed to escape”, said the NGO, without specifying their number. She did not immediately report possible victims in this rare attack in the city of Hassaké, controlled by the Syrian Kurds.

Situation under control

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by Kurdish fighters and spearheading the fight against ISIS, confirmed the assault on Ghwayran prison, but not the escape of detainees.

“An escape attempt by Daesh terrorists [un acronyme arabe pour désigner l’EI] held in Hassaké prison took place after an explosion and the explosion of a car bomb », the SDF said in a statement. “Members of Daesh sleeper cells sprung up from surrounding neighborhoods and clashed with security forces” Kurds, they continued.

The FDS sent reinforcements to the prison and blocked the area, the OSDH said. In a separate statement, an SDF spokesman, Ferhad Sahmi, said that “the situation inside the prison is now under control” and reports “intermittent clashes between Kurdish fighters and jihadists near the prison”. Planes of the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States flew over the area and dropped flares in the vicinity of the prison, according to the OSDH.

Sleeper cells

According to Kurdish authorities, who control large swaths of northern Syria, some 12,000 jihadists of more than 50 nationalities are being held in prisons under their control.

On the front line in the fight against IS, the SDF, supported by the international coalition, defeated the jihadist group in Syria in 2019 by driving it out of its last stronghold of Baghouz, in the province of Deir Ezzor (east). Despite its defeat, IS is carrying out deadly attacks, particularly in the vast Syrian desert, which stretches from the central province of Homs to that of Deir Ezzor, on the border with Iraq.

These attacks target both the Syrian army and its allies and the Kurdish forces, long supported by Washington in their fight against the IS, which sowed terror in these two countries and perpetrated bloody attacks around the world. In Syria as in Iraq, the jihadist group maintains dormant cells.

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. It caused nearly half a million deaths according to the OSDH and displaced millions of people.

The World with AFP

In Syria, jihadists escape after the attack on a prison by the Islamic State organization
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