Prison break | Confrontations escalate over besieged ISIS members refusing to surrender • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Prison break | Confrontations escalate over besieged ISIS members refusing to surrender

Al-Hasakah province: SOHR activists have reported that military forces deployed in neighbourhoods that witnesses clashes between them and ISIS prisoners who are holed up in and around Ghuwayran prison in Al-Hasakah city, have demanded via loudspeakers ISIS members and prisoners hand themselves over. However, these demands have been rejected which led to escalating the confrontations.

Meanwhile, large military reinforcement of counter-terrorism, SDF and Asayish forces have arrived in Ghuwayran neighbourhood and the vicinity of the prison in Al-Hasakah city.

SOHR sources have just reported ongoing military operations in Ghuwayran prison and its surrounding area in Al-Hasakah city, as clashes are still ongoing between ISIS members on one hand, and SDF military forces, counter-terrorism forces and Asayish forces on the other, in attempts by SDF and their military formations, backed by International Coalition air support, to regain control of the prison and control the security situation.

Meanwhile, International Coalition aircraft renewed their strikes on that region this morning, while some buildings of Ghuwayran prison are still under the control of ISIS. On the other hand, the military forces managed to impose a tight siege on the prison, isolating it completely from its surroundings with the aim to impose full control on the prison. Moreover, SDF affiliated formations continue their combing operations in Ghuwayran and Al-Zuhour neighbourhoods and other areas around the prison, searching for ISIS members and escapees.

In the meantime, reliable sources have informed SOHR that the number of arrested ISIS prisoners, who had escaped from Ghuwayran prison during the recent attack, has reached 130. However, dozens of ISIS prisoners, whose specific number remains unknown, are still free after being able to escape from the prison. SOHR sources have confirmed that hundreds of ISIS prisoners managed to escape on Thursday evening and Friday dawn, before some were arrested while the fate of the others remained unknown.

In the same context, Observatory sources have documented a new spike of the number of people who have been killed since the beginning of the deadliest attack by ISIS on the prison Ghuwayran on Thursday evening, as the death of 78 people: 45 ISIS members, five civilians and 28 members of Asayish Forces, counter-terrorism forces and guards of the prison, has been confirmed.

However, SOHR sources have confirmed that the real number of fatalities is much higher, as the fate of tens of people among all parties remains unknown. In addition, a large number of combatants, ISIS members and civilians have sustained serious injuries. Furthermore, the fate of tens of the prison’s employees and guards also remains unknown, as it is not known yet if they have been all killed or some of them are still held hostages by ISIS members and prisoners.

It is worth noting that Ghuwayran prison hosts nearly 3,500 ISIS commanders and members, and it is the only prison in the world hosting such large number of ISIS prisoners.

It is also worth noting that this was the most violent and largest attack on populated areas since elimination of ISIS as a controlling power in March 2019.

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