In what appears to be the most significant military attacks by the Islamic State (ISIS) since its military defeat in 2019 at Bāghūz by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), clashes between SDF units and ISIS members continue in Haseke city, northeast Syria after a largely foiled attempt by ISIS to free prisoners from a detention centre.
The detention centre in the Xiwêran neighbourhood, housing around 5,000 detainees affiliated with ISIS, was stormed by groups of ISIS fighters on Thursday, the attack was thwarted by units of the internal security and the SDF.
As ISIS militants who carried out the attack and a number of detainees who broke out went into hiding in the nearby Zihûr neighbourhood, the area was surrounded by SDF units and armed clashes ensued.
The armed clashes continued both inside and outside of Sina’a Prison on Friday evening, and according to local sources 89 detainees were recaptured outside the prison, Rojava Information Centre reported.
At least six ISIS fighters and an undisclosed number of SDF fighters were killed in the clashes, according to Yahoo News. A firefighter was also killed during the clashes.
The co-chair of the foreign relations department of the Autonomus Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) told ANF that foreign states were partially responsible for the situation in Haseke. Abdulkarim Omar said:
“These incidents are the result of the foreign states’ inability to fulfill their duties. True, we in Baghuz brought an end to ISIS’ military presence in the region. However, the terrorism by ISIS is far from over. The victory was merely military. ISIS is still active. Sleeper cells are attacking all the time. In places that had been under ISIS control for years, ISIS ideology has not disappeared.”
“We have consistently appealed to the international community for dealing with ISIS militants in jails and camps. We warned that the current situation could not be sustained. The world and international community must carry out their responsibilities in dealing with the ISIS problem. The trial of ISIS members must begin as soon as possible. Every country should take its citizens back. Those who do not accept them should come and assist us, and ISIS members should be prosecuted. Support should be provided to the AANES for the needs in the detention centres and camps.”