(Photo credit: Al Mayadeen)
According to Arabic media reports on 21 February, US troops illegally stationed in northeast Syria are working to transfer large groups of ISIS prisoners from Deir Ezzor governorate to prisons in Hasakah with the help of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Sources that spoke with Al Mayadeen said that the operation was carried out by land with the use of a number of SDF military vehicles that were backed by patrols from the US coalition.
US forces also closed the road linking Hasakah governorate to Deir Ezzor for several hours to secure the transportation.
The transfer of ISIS prisoners reportedly began after the occupation officials received information about the arrival of fugitives from Ghweran prison that were allegedly planning to carry out attacks against SDF detention centers in Deir Ezzor.
This transfer comes just a month after violent clashes broke out between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and ISIS fighters at Hasakah’s Ghweran prison, leaving a death toll of over 500.
During the clashes, which lasted for several days, US forces also launched dozens of airstrikes in the vicinity of the prison. Around 45,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Hasakah as a result, the UN reported, and hundreds resorted to taking shelter within the city’s mosques and wedding halls.
The Ghweran prison riot and ensuing violence exposed the major vulnerabilities of US-run prisons in Syria’s occupied territories. For years humanitarian groups and Syrian officials have warned about the danger posed by the poorly-run prisons and makeshift camps that house thousands of ISIS fighters.