SOHR: Syria Kurds hunt down jihadists after prison attack • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR: Syria Kurds hunt down jihadists after prison attack

Kurdish-led forces in northeastern Syria combed the area in and around a large prison compound Thursday, a day after wresting it back from Islamic State group fighters.

The brazen IS jailbreak attempt and ensuing clashes around the prison in the city of Hasakeh left more than 200 people dead in the jihadists’ most high-profile military operation since the loss of their “caliphate” nearly three years ago.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said they retaken full control of Ghwayran prison on Wednesday, ending six days of battles that turned the largest city in northeastern Syria into a war zone.

On Thursday, SDF fighters backed by the US-led coalition battling IS, “combed cell blocks and districts around the jail for hideout jihadists,” said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“Coalition aircraft overnight targeted IS fighters hunkered down in areas around the prison overnight, killing at least seven,” according to the monitor, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria.

Around 151 IS jihadists, 53 Kurdish fighters and seven civilians have been killed in violence in Hasakeh since the January 20 start of the prison assault, according to the Observatory.

Ghwayran held an estimated 3,500 IS inmates, including around 700 minors, when the initial IS attack began with explosives-laden vehicles driven by suicide bombers.

The Kurdish authorities have insisted no inmates escaped from the compound but the Observatory has said significant numbers got away.

“The Kurdish-led forces’ recapture of the prison ends this immediate deadly ordeal, but the broader crisis involving these prisoners is far from over,” Human Rights Watch warned on Wednesday.

“The US-led coalition and others involved need to quickly ensure that all prisoners, especially the wounded, ill and children, are safe and receive food, water and medical care,” it added in a statement.

Prisoners who have surrendered were being transferred to safer facilities as operations in Ghwayran continued, the SDF said.



Source: France 24

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