300 Daesh terrorists surrender to Kurdish militias

Hasakah continues to be the scene of direct clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces and the jihadists after the capture of Al Sina prison

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP  -   Daesh fighters, who were detained by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after they attacked the Gweiran prison in Hassakeh, northeastern Syria, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the People's Protection Units (YPG), have reported the surrender of at least 300 Daesh terrorists who were besieging the Al Sina prison located in the city of Hasaka.

According to the democratic militias, "the operation went according to plan" through an operation executed "during the night after our forces stormed a building. We gave the opportunity for 300 people to surrender". They added that the terrorists managed to "steal weapons from the prison guards, whom they killed, and then clashed with the rapid reaction forces of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)". 

PHOTO/AP - Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces are pictured in the northern Syrian town of Hasakeh, 24 January 2022.

Despite announcing this surrender, fighting between the SDF and terrorists continues to rage in what is already known as the bloodiest attack in Syria since 2019. So far at least 200 people have died as a result of the fighting and hundreds of Daesh terrorists remain barricaded in the prison, including 700 children who had been recruited, according to the Syrian coalition. According to the SDF, Daesh "is threatening to kill all the minors" if the offensive continues. The SDF has also claimed that the terrorists are using children as human shields.

The Kurds, after declaring that they could not ensure the safety of the children, have called together with the non-governmental organisation Save The Children for the "immediate evacuation" of the children. According to the NGO's humanitarian response director, Sonia Khush, the information coming from the situation of the children in the prison is "deeply distressing", adding that "reports of children being killed or injured are tragic and outrageous". 

Chris Huby/Le Pictorium Agency via ZUMA - Two men guard suspected Daesh members in a prison run by the Kurdish People's Defence Units (YPG).

Another aspect highlighted by the organisation is the responsibility of the children's countries of origin, since many of them are not Syrian, so the risk of both the death of the minors and the wounded is "directly related to the refusal of these governments to take them home". 

Faced with this situation, the Interior Commission of the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria (AANES) has approved a curfew of at least a week in the province of Hasak, where people are only allowed to leave their homes for what is strictly necessary. 

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, via AP - This photo provided by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces shows the flag and bags of Islamic State group fighters who were detained by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after they attacked the Gweiran prison, in Hassakeh, northeastern Syria.

The delicacy of this scenario has prompted the US to support the SDF again, as it did in the Syrian war, with military force and weapons in order to regain control of the prison. In addition, the terrorist siege has forced 45,000 people to flee, according to the UN, exacerbating the current humanitarian crisis.

The Kurds, grouped in the YPG, have managed to thwart what could have been a major massacre. This confrontation is not the first that the Protection Units have fought against Daesh, as they played a major role in the fight against Daesh within the framework of the Syrian war. Together with the YPJ, they managed to rid strategic enclaves such as Raqa and Kobane of terrorism, changing the course of the Syrian civil conflict. 

AFP/ADEM ALTAN - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The surrender of the 300 terrorists came just five days after the first Daesh-led assault on Ghwayran prison, and since then the clashes have been continuous. In this aspect, due to the magnitude of the assault, different investigations point out that the terrorists received external help and these indicate that they could have received significant support from Turkey and Damascus, as reported by the Kurdish News Agency (ANF News).

In the case of Turkey, Erdogan has set himself up as the main enemy of the Kurdish militias, which he considers to be terrorists. Ankara has tried to displace Kurdish units in northern Syria, occupying the Afrin canton and attacking the northern towns of Tal Abyad and Ras al In.

PHOTO/AP - Syrian children in al-Hilal Syrian refugee camp in the village of al-Taybeh, near Baalbek in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, 20 January 2022.

Turkey has also sent a number of mercenaries who, according to various experts, are said to have fought in the terrorist ranks alongside Daesh jihadists, as evidenced in Idlib. Along these lines, both the YPJ and the YPG managed to curb terrorism in the country, but there are still threats and pockets of terrorist resistance that they are trying to eradicate.

Although Syria has put an end to its civil conflict after Al-Assad's army recaptured the areas, the country continues to face various jihadist threats from sleeper cells. To this must be added the internal humanitarian and social crisis the country is going through as a result of a conflict that has already been framed as one of the biggest humanitarian crises of the 21st century.