SOHR: Fighting erupts for days in Syria after IS fighters launched attack on prison
IS fighters used vehicles and explosives to ram through the prison walls before entering the building with heavy machine guns.
Syrian Kurdish forces say that fighting with militants continued into a fourth day after Islamic State fighters staged an attempted prison break in Syria’s northeast.
Gweiran prison, in the city of Hassakeh, is believed to house more than 3,000 suspected Islamic State militants, including hundreds of children.
IS fighters used vehicles and explosives to ram through the prison walls before entering the building with heavy machine guns late last week.
Prison inmates rioted and some took Kurdish guards hostage, while a number of other prison staff were killed.
Syrian Kurdish forces initially said they had defeated the fighters but they later acknowledged that inmates had taken over part of the prison.
Some of the militants staged another attack on the prison on Sunday to try to help members of the group still in charge of parts of the facility.
IS’s news agency Amaq said that the militants had helped more than 800 inmates escape and some were continuing to fight Kurdish forces.
While the Kurdish forces said that they had apprehended more than 100 escaped inmates.
A resident near the prison said that warplanes from the western coalition flew over the building early on Sunday, something confirmed by the US Pentagon.
The resident said that the Kurdish forces could be heard calling on the militants to give themselves up.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory For Human Rights said helicopters dropped pamphlets over the city asking residents to report suspicious activities.
It is IS’s biggest attack since it lost its last Syrian territory in 2019.
The US-based Human Rights Watch has estimated that Syrian Kurdish forces hold around 12,000 men and boys suspected of being affiliated with Islamic State.
This includes up to 4,000 foreigners from almost 50 countries.
Source: Sky News