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Syrian Kurds appeal for other countries to handle imprisoned ISIS terrorists thwarted in uprising

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Dozens are seen returning to the Geweran neighbourhood near al-Hasakah prison on Sunday after the last batch of ISIS fighters surrendered. The residents were trapped under shelling and bombing for five days. (Screencap: ruptly.tv)

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After a 10-day standoff at the al-Hasakah Prison in Geweran, Syria, an ISIS plot to overrun a prison administered by Syrian Kurds was reportedly thwarted, and the prison is now back under the control of Peshmerga Forces. The standoff began as ISIS fighters raided the prison while their comrades inside rioted, holding up to 600 children – the so-called cubs of the caliphate – as hostages. 

More than 120 Peshmerga fighters and Syrian Kurdish prison workers were killed in the incident. The  emergency prompted the Kurds to renew their appeal to the international community to take responsibility for the ISIS terrorists from Europe, Africa and Arab lands – in particular the children who are as young as 12, although AP reports as young as 8 – being held in the prison.

Over two dozen detention facilities are under Kurdish control scattered around northeastern Syria. Reports indicate they are holding 10,000 ISIS fighters including some 2,000 foreigners. That foreign contingent – 800 of them Europeans – have never been brought to a court to face charges.

Kurdish writer Rani N. Tofik stated in an interview that the attack, regardless of the outcome, boosted the morale of ISIS: “Even though their attack was not successful as planned, that indicates ISIS has become strong again. That was the most organized operation of ISIS taking place since 2019.”

Tofik also warned that it will be an uphill struggle for the Kurds to assume full responsibility for the imprisoned ISIS terrorists all by themselves. They receive nothing more than logistical support from America, who has largely withdrawn from the region: “Preventive actions to avoid or obstruct ISIS returning to power is not an easy process because military operations alone cannot prevent ISIS. There are other interrelated factors to prevent that threat which are economic, political, cultural, and social incentives. It also requires international and regional cooperation.”

He added that this assistance is especially essential, as he claimed the Iranians are helping ISIS:

“Iran, despite its sectarian differences with extremist Sunni groups such as al-Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS, has some common interests with those groups, such as using these groups against America and Israel, or to spread its influence in the region and create pressure on the governments of the region through these groups. It is possible that Iran, through the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, uses ISIS to put pressure on the Kurdistan Regional Government.  This helps ISIS to maintain its existence.”

For example, “There may be an Iranian regime conspiracy against the Kurdistan region to make the KRG make some concessions because the Popular Mobilization forces are the main factor behind the security vacuum that is under the control of Iran,” he claimed. “Moreover, these ISIS attacks were simultaneous with the attacks of the Popular Mobilization Forces. There have been several land missiles and drone attacks by the Popular Mobilization forces on the capital city of Kurdistan (Erbil).”  

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However, the radical Islamist threat for the Kurdish people extends beyond Iraq.  Kurdish historian Kamal Saidou noted that 96% of the population of the Afrin region in Syria used to be Kurdish.

Syrian jihadists “forced most of Afrin’s Kurds to leave their homes. They were replaced by radical Islamists.  Now, Afrin is only 25% Kurdish.”

Ali Asghar Faridi, a Kurdish journalist based in Germany, recalled: “More than one hundred positions in Afrin were bombed, among them hospitals. Historic monuments were destroyed. People were massacred, arbitrarilly arrested, tortured, displaced, had their property confiscated and were robbed.  This was all in violation of international law.”

This was all done by Syrian jihadist groups, with the silent blessing of Iran and other neighboring countries. Thus, when the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds are facing grave threats like this, it is very hard for them to hold onto thousands of foreign ISIS terrorists, whose countries of origin refuse to accept them back, without international support. 

In fact, it becomes a liability, holding them back from utilizing their resources to fully fighting against the home-grown jihadist threat coming from ISIS and other equally bad terror groups, who receive blessings from Tehran.

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

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