ISIS prison break repelled by Kurdish-led forces in Syria: SDF commander

A combined picture of SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi and a group of suspected ISIS prisoners in a jail in northeast Syria

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) repelled an Islamic State attack (ISIS) on a prison to break out inmates with the support of air strikes by a U.S.-led coalition, officials said on Friday.

ISIS said via Telegram its militants had waged a wide-scale attack on the prison in northeastern Syria since Thursday night, and that clashes were ongoing nearby and in other neighborhoods, according to Reuters. 

SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi said on Twitter, however, that “the area around the prison was completely surrounded and all fugitives were arrested.”

In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed the U.S.-led coalition had carried out air strikes in support of the SDF as it dealt with the prison break, Reuters said. 

A military source in the Kurdish-led forces said they killed 23 ISIS militants, including foreigners, in the clashes after the militant group attempted to free prisoners from the jail in Hasakah. 

Residents of the Ghweiran area in the prison’s vicinity said intermittent fighting continued in parts of the neighborhood, were some of the fleeing prisoners who had taken shelter remain.

At least five civilians were killed during a security operation mounted by Kurdish forces in residential areas around the prison, Reuters cited community elders as saying.

Seven members of the SDF and an allied security force called the Asayish were killed in the attack, the SDF military source said.

The SDF said it had detained 89 militants in the area of the prison. 

It was the second time since December that Islamic State had attacked the prison in an effort to free inmates.

Islamic State controlled swathes of Syria and Iraq until it was driven from the territory in 2017-19 by adversaries, including a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF, and Iraqi security forces. Islamic State cells continue to carry out attacks in both countries.

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