Journalist Fehim Taştekin spoke to ARTI Gerçek TV about the ISIS attack on Sina’a Prison in Haseke and noted that the prison raid reveals ISIS’s ability to recover itself, mobilise its cells, plan attacks and influence its supporters.
“The Syrian Democratic Forces and the internal security forces (Asayish) will gain control over the prison again. But we see that the raid will have some positive effects for ISIS. ISIS-affiliated media have started on this, they are defining it as a new jihad and using it to mobilise and rejuvenate the organisation, and to give hope to its militias. So it doesn’t matter whether the raid fails or not, ISIS has already told its cells, ‘We exist and we are coming back’,” said Taştekin, adding that the raid requires further analysis since there are at least 12 checkpoints in the region to pass through to get to Haseke, where the prison is located.
“If the ISIS militants and guns can get through these checkpoints, then there are security issues here, and also, although ISIS lost its territories it still can train its militias in Syria, this is also important.”
Western countries do not take responsibility
Some of the ISIS militias kept in prisons controlled by AANES do not have Syrian nationality but are from various countries around the world. AANES has been repeatedly calling for western countries to take these ISIS prisoners back but so far not many countries have responded. Fehim Taştekin recalled this and noted the role of western countries in the attack.
“The western countries in particular have not taken back ISIS members who are their citizens, they don’t want to take them back..”
“They said this to AANES: We’ll pay you to build walls for these prisons, these converted schools and hospitals, we’ll do it that way. But it can’t be like that. For one thing when you keep so many people there without trial, it becomes a cause for ISIS, they use it to spread propaganda as if they were the victims. And then there are the families of these people, about 70,000 people are living in the camps, and as long as this continues, the people in these camps are being radicalised too.”
Turkey always paves the way for ISIS
Regarding the role of Turkey in the attack, Taştekin recalled Turkey’s Syria policy since the beginning of the conflicts in region.
“Regarding Turkey’s Syria policy, there are points where it is in conflict with ISIS, but Turkey always paved the way for them when the Kurds become the issue, we know this from the time that ISIS had not yet announced itself as ISIS, from the time of the Nusra front in Syria,” he said.
Taştekin concluded that both Syria and Turkey would be pleased at the rising tension in northeast Syria.
“It is desirable for some actors that Autonomous Administration, which was established by Kurds, should lose power. Both Turkey and Syria might be pleased, if the AANES project should crumble with similar attacks by ISIS.”