Conflicts & War

Syrian Kurds quell uprising by ISIS prisoners

Beirut, Jan 26 (EFE).- After six days of clashes, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) put down a rebellion inside a prison in the northeastern city of al-Hasakah holding Islamic State militants.

“The People’s Hammer Operation has culminated with our entire control of the al-Sina’a prison in al-Hasakah and the surrender of all Daesh terrorists,” the SDF said, referring to the ISIS inmates by an Arabic acronym.

Last Thursday’s detonation of an explosives-laden vehicle near al-Sina’a was apparently a signal to the roughly 3,500 inmates to rise up against their jailers and escape as ISIS gunmen outside opened fire on SDF security personnel.

More than 200 people died in the largest ISIS offensive in the three years since the Daesh “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria was toppled through the – often disparate – efforts of the Syrian government and allies Russia, Iran and Hezbollah; Iraqi forces; and the Kurdish YPG militia, who get support from the United States.

A video posted on Twitter by YPG spokesman Siyamend Ali showed a long line of men, some with blankets around their shoulders, standing alongside a high wall topped with concertina wire.

He identified the men as ISIS prisoners who were in the process of being transferred to other locations because of the damage done to their dormitories during the fighting.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group with a network of sources in Syria, disseminated photos illustrating the level and extent of the damage in al-Hasakah, with large mounds of rubble and articles of clothing strewn over the ground.

ISIS fighters who took part in the initial assault on the prison subsequently occupied buildings in al-Hasakah and continued firing on SDF troops and some 45,000 residents fled their homes during the clashes, according to the United Nations.

Along with the adult inmates, the facility was holding around 800 minors linked to ISIS who were undergoing rehabilitation.

The SDF said that the ISIS mutineers used the minors as human shields. EFE njd/dr

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