Death toll of ISIS attack on Hasakah’s Ghweran prison rises to 332, more bodies yet to be found
Reports say that tens of ISIS militants remain sheltered within the Kurdish controlled prison
By News Desk - January 30 2022

Photo taken from Al-Sharqiya news site, no credit mentioned.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the death toll of the ISIS attack on Ghweran prison in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah governorate, which began on 20 January, has risen to 332.

SOHR reported on 29 January that “mop-up and search operations” continue within the prison and its surroundings, as clashes between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIS were still taking place a day earlier, three days after the Kurdish militia announced “full control” over the prison.

“The new bodies were found were inside and outside of the prison,” SOHR director Rami Abdelrahman told AFP on 29 January.

As of yet, the death toll includes 246 ISIS members, as well as 79 members of the Kurdish forces and seven civilians.

SOHR maintained that the death toll “may still rise due to the presence of dozens of wounded whose fate remain unknown”, and that information about deaths on either side has yet to be uncovered.

According to Abdelrahman, there is “confirmed information about the presence of 22 other bodies, yet there is a conflict regarding the parties to which the dead belong.”

On 29 January, an AFP correspondent reportedly saw a truck loaded with corpses, likely to be dead ISIS militants. The truck exited the prison perimeter before stopping at another location in the Ghweran neighborhood, where the prison is located.

A bulldozer proceeded to load more corpses onto the truck, which then made its way to an unknown destination.

According to the correspondent, US occupation forces and members of the SDF deployed rooftop snipers around the prison, reporting sounds of shooting.

SDF spokesperson, Farhad Shami, told AFP that the bodies will be “transferred to cemeteries designated for them” within the ‘autonomous region of north and east Syria’, the name given for a de facto autonomous region partly controlled by the US-backed Kurdish forces.

The SDF announced on 26 January that approximately 3,500 ISIS attackers, as well as prisoners affiliated with the terror group, had surrendered. Kurdish officials estimate, however, that around 60 to 90 ISIS members are taking shelter within the prison cells.

“We have not used force with them as of yet”, Shami told AFP on 29 January.

The SDF reportedly made several calls for their immediate surrender. According to SOHR, 20 of them have already laid down arms and surrendered to Kurdish forces.

The Kurdish forces released a video showing a number of the ISIS members who had already surrendered on 28 January. Their number is estimated at around 10 militants, an SDF source said.

Around 45,000 people have fled their homes in Hasakah as a result of the fighting, the UN reported, and hundreds have resorted to taking shelter within the city’s mosques and wedding halls.

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