Islamic State Launches Assault on Prison in Northeast Syria

Fighting continued between Kurdish-led forces and Islamic State (IS) fighters in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakah on Saturday, January 22, after militants attacked a major prison in the city.

On Thursday night, prisoners began revolting in Gweiran Prison, where thousands of suspected IS members have been held following the defeat of the terror group in 2019. Farhad Shami, a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said prisoners burned blankets and plastic in their dormitories.

On the same evening, fighters attacked the prison and a car bomb was exploded nearby, according to reports. Shami later said that some 89 prisoners had been recaptured, but fighting continued near the prison into Saturday.

In a statement, the SDF said that 17 of its members and those affiliated with allied groups had been killed since the assault in Hasakah began. The SDF also reported that 22 IS fighters had died. According to officials with the anti-IS coalition, its aircraft carried out strikes targeting suspected militants in the area, though few additional details were provided.

The attack in Hasakah, along with a Friday assault in Iraq that left at least 11 soldiers dead, represents some of the deadliest activity attributed to IS since their official defeat.

This footage, provided on Saturday by the media arm of Kurdish-led YPG forces, shows ongoing fighting in Hasakah. YPG fighters can be seen firing weapons from a rooftop, as smoke rises from nearby locations. Credit: YPG Press Office via Storyful

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