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Late on January 20, ISIS cells attacked the al-Sinaa prison, which is run by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to free hundreds of their comrades. However, they ended up capturing the prison and nearby areas in the southern part of al-Hasakah city.
In 6 days, fierce clashes between ISIS militants and the SDF supported by their allies continue.
On the morning of January 24, the Kurds issued an ultimatum to ISIS to surrender. After the terrorists refused, the SDF attempted to carry out the final assault of the prison.
Despite the SDF claims spread by the media loyal to US-led forces, the assault failed. Only one building was captured, and civilian settlements in nearby areas were still under ISIS control.
Forces of the U.S.-led coalition, including the US Air Force and the British Air Force, with heavy weapons and warplanes are also deployed in al-Hasakah. However, this was not enough to suppress the militants.
The SDF announced the surrender of 250 more ISIS members on January 25, bringing their total number to 550 members.
Meanwhile, the death toll has risen up to about 200 casualties from the both sides. The total number of refugees exceeds 45 thousand people.
ISIS militants reject any surrender. They demanded a safe corridor to the Syrian Desert in return for the release of the hostages. The militants are suffering a lack of water, food and medicines.
The SDF has reportedly managed to exchange several hostages for food.
In an attempt of a breakthrough or in order to get new weapons, supplies and medicines from the Kurds, ISIS militants attacked a gas station not far from the prison last night. At least five SDF fighters were reportedly killed in the clashes.
The situation remains tense for a week now. The SDF and US-led coalition are deploying new reinforcements, likely preparing for another assault.
The Kurds are yet to declare the number of ISIS militants who managed to escape to the Syrian desert. Where the terrorist threat is steadily growing too.
On January 24, ISIS attacked a military column of the 4th corps of the SAA near the town of Palmyra. 8 soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded.
Meanwhile, the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS) are transferring forces to the Homs desert.
On January 23, a flight of MiG-29 fighters and 3 Mi-8 helicopters were deployed to the T-4 airbase to patrol the Palmyra – Abu Kemal and Palmyra – Deir Ezzor roads.
On January 25, Russian fighter jets with support of Syrian helicopters have executed 40 airstrikes on ISIS positions in the Syrian desert.
With its recent actions, ISIS has demonstrated that it is too early to write off this terrorist organization. The deplorable socio-economic situation in the region allows the terrorists to effectively carry out recruitment campaigns among Sunni youth. In case of an armed conflict in Europe, which will inevitably distract forces, both of the Russian Federation and the Western coalition from the region, the ISIS threat will grow significantly. Syria is not able to effectively resist the militants by its own means. The Kurdish formations have once again confirmed their limited combat capabilities.
On a tactical level, this benefits the Anglo-Saxon bloc, Turkey and Israel. The clashes in the al-Sinaa prison and the attacks in the Palmyra area are the beginning of a new round of the civil war in Syria.