U.S.-Backed Forces Retake Syrian Prison From Islamic State
On Wednesday, US backed Syrian forces reported that they were able to retake full control of the al-Sina’a prison in Hasakah after a weeklong battle with Islamic State Fighters. The conflict at the facility marks one of the worst assaults in the country in three years, with more than 100 casualties. The Syrian Democratic Forces fought alongside as many as 200 Islamic State fighters to retake the facility. According to the Syrian Democratic Forces, all Islamic State members surrendered on Wednesday after suffering the majority of the casualties. The attack may have been a reassertion of the group’s ability to conduct large-scale violence and threaten a high-value facility. The attack was complex and required attentive planning, involving sleeper cells and an uprising among prisoners inside the facility.
The prison break illustrates the challenges of completely eradicating the Islamic State as the organization has been able to repeatedly transform itself to adapt to the shifting political climate and security conditions in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria. Although the uprising was ultimately quelled, a successful prison break could be a significant point of propaganda in the Islamic State’s efforts to continue to gain members.