Ghuwayran prison | Military forces continue search for missing persons and transfer victims bodies
Following the completion of the military operation in Ghuwayran prison at the southern entrance to Al-Hasakah city, SOHR activists have reported that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Asayish and counter-terrorism,forces have been carrying out searches for missing persons and transporting the bodies of victims found scattered and burned in Ghuwayran neighbourhood and the vicinity of the prison, who were lost and killed during the military operation.
Yesterday, SOHR confirmed that the death toll keeps rising, amid finding more bodies from both sides. Accordingly, the total death toll since the start of Ghuwayran prison break on January 20 evening has reached 332: 246 ISIS fighters, seven civilians and 79 members of Asayish Forces, prison guards, counter-terrorism forces and SDF.
The Syrian Observatory asserts that this death toll is not definitive and is expected to rise further in light of the ongoing combing campaigns, as more bodies are expected to be found. In addition, there are many people who have sustained serious injuries.
Reliable sources informed SOHR that there were more deaths in lines of the SDF and Asayish forces and 22 other ISIS bodies were found, but those numbers are still under the process of verification and documentation. Those bodies were collected by the military forces during the combing and inspection operations inside and outside the prison.
It is worth noting that the intelligence service in north-east Syrian has started on January 21 an investigation over the prison security break.
Ghuwayran prison attack on January 20 is the most violent and largest attack by ISIS since the organisation indefinite elimination and the end of its control on populated areas in March 2019. The attack caused the displacement of thousands of civilians, while the destiny of dozens of ISIS prisoners is still unknown.
While SOHR has documented and monitored Ghuwayran prison developments around the o’clock, the Observatory calls on the International Coalition and the Autonomous Administration to open comprehensive investigation on the prison breach and recommends extraditing non-Syrian ISIS prisoners to their countries to stand trails, and to establish fortified prisons for Syrian ISIS prisoners to send them to justice.
We appeal to all international actors to establish centres for rehabilitating the “Caliphate Cubs”, hire well-qualified experts to supervise the process of rehabilitation and provide all needed support for those children to avoid the appearance of new generations that promotes ISIS thoughts.
We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, renew our call to the UN Security Council to refer those ‘war crimes’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in Syria to the International Criminal Court so that all the criminals and killers of the Syrian people are brought to justice.
SOHR has been all along warning against ISIS resurgence and stressing that the defeat of ISIS in Syrian territory, as declared in 2019, was “symbolic”, as ISIS has been only eliminated as a controlling power in populated areas. The daily attacks by ISIS fighters and cells throughout Syria, clearly indicate that the “Islamic State” is still alive and kicking. While the frequent security campaigns and military operations by regime forces, Russia, International Coalition and SDF have all failed so far to curb or hinder ISIS escalating activities.
The Syrian Observatory also points out that it had already warned, well before “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” declared itself as “Caliphate State” in Syria and Iraq, that this organization did intend to work for the Syrian people and serve their interest, but rather ISIS continued to kill innocent Syrians, who had been suffering the brutality of war and violence and became displaced.
Furthermore, the “Islamic State” recruited children in the so-called “cubs of the caliphate”, and controlled the wealth and resources of Syrian people and harnessed them to build a “caliphate”, and traded openly back and forth with one of Syria’s neighbouring country.