Beirut, Jan 21 (EFE).- The chief of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Friday that the fighters under his command have rounded up Islamic State militants who escaped the day before from a prison in the northeastern city of Hasakah.
“The terrorist ISIS organization has mobilized most of its sleeper cells in attempt to organize a jailbreak near the Hasakah prison with suicide bombers and an insurgency by detainees inside the prison,” SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi said on Twitter.
“Our security forces mobilized and succeeded with the help of the (US-led international) Coalition to repel the attack and the area around the prison was completely surrounded and all fugitives were arrested,” he added.
The United States Defense Department confirmed that the coalition conducted airstrikes to assist the SDF in repelling the ISIS attack.
The detonation late Thursday of an explosives-laden vehicle near the detention facility was apparently a signal to the roughly 3,500 inmates to rise up against their jailers and make a break for it as ISIS gunmen outside opened fire on SDF security personnel.
Abdi did not specifically address the situation in Hasakah’s al Zohour neighborhood, where some of the ISIS fighters who took part in the initial assault on the prison had been firing on SDF troops from inside buildings.
“We reiterate that our fight against ISIS continues and we will not stop until all criminal elements are put behind bars,” the commander wrote in the final tweet of the thread.
At least 20 SDF troops were killed, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that six ISIS fighters and five civilians also died. EFE njd/dr