Syria..Slow progress of the Kurdish forces in their fight against ISIS in Al-Hasakah, and international concern for civilians
The Kurdish forces backed by Washington are trying to regain control of Al-Sina’a Prison (Gweran) in Al-Hasakah, northeastern Syria, 5 days after the Islamic State launched an attack to liberate thousands of its detained members, while the United Nations expressed concern for the safety of civilians.
The Syrian Democratic Forces – of which the Kurds are the most prominent components – and the Kurdish security forces (Asayish) are still trying to regain full control of the region, with the support of the international coalition led by the United States.
And the Syrian Democratic Forces stated in a statement today, Tuesday, that 250 new members of the organization surrendered after “accurate raids” of a building in which they were holed up inside the prison, which brings the total number of members who surrendered to 550.
Despite the talk of the Syrian Democratic Forces about tightening their grip on the prison, ISIS says that it captured and killed dozens of its opponents, and continues to fight to the end.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the ongoing clashes since last Thursday have killed 114 members of the organization and 45 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, in addition to 70 civilians, while about 45 thousand people were forced to flee their homes in Hasaka, according to the United Nations.
And US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby announced on Monday that US forces participated in the fighting through “a series of raids … to ensure the accuracy of targeting fighters” of the organization, and also provided “limited” support on the ground to help “establish safe areas.”
Informed sources confirm to Al-Jazeera Net from Al-Hasakah that most of the prisoners are prominent leaders of the organization who held positions of an administrative or military nature during the organization’s control of areas in Syria, and who had combat and scientific experience, as well. The number of detainees in Ghweran prison is estimated at 5,000 prisoners; Most of them are of Arab and foreign nationalities.
Negotiations are underway between the Kurdish side and the organization in order to reach an agreement that provides for the provision of medical care to the organization’s wounded, in exchange for the latter’s release of hostages it is holding from prison guards.
On the other hand, the spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, said – during a press conference in Geneva – that “the situation of civilians in the city of Al-Hasakah is very worrying.”
Shamdasani criticized the Syrian Democratic Forces without mentioning her name, expressing her concern about the safety and security of hundreds of children held in prison.
Mystery still surrounds the method of the organization’s infiltration into Al-Hasakah and its preparation for the attack on the prison, which began last Thursday with the detonation of two booby-trapped vehicles in its surroundings, amid talk about the escape of hundreds of detainees, according to the account of the ISIS-affiliated Amaq Agency, and then the battles continued from inside the prison and its surroundings. .