Employees rescued as SDF make further gains in regaining Hasaka prison


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SULAIMANI — Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday (January 25) nine members of staff at the al-Sinaa prison who had been taken hostage by Islamic State (ISIS) militants have been rescued.

The SDF Coordination and Military Ops Center announced on Twitter the employees have been taken to a "safer point.”

The head of the SDF media center, Farhad Shami, said on Saturday pro-ISIS media published a video which showed a group who had been abducted by the militants on Thursday in al-Sinaa prison.

He confirmed the men in the video were kitchen staff and stated the SDF had lost contact with them during the first attack on the prison.

Kurdish forces have regained control of a block of eight buildings in the prison, the coordination ops reported late on Tuesday afternoon, using the hashtag, victory is approaching.

The SDF also announced they were conducting clearing operations Ghweiran, where the prison is located, and al-Zuhour, an adjacent neighborhood. At least 14 ISIS militants were killed in the operations, the SDF said, including suicide bombers wearing explosive belts.

They also stated an operation was carried out at the bank of the Khabour River where three ISIS members were killed who had planned to back the prison break-out

Farhad Shami posted an announcement last night from the SDF media center calling on ISIS members in the prison to surrender.

"We know you have an internet connection and see your setbacks,” the post stated. "You are completely surrounded by our forces and there is no way out.”

The SDF said on Monday 300 ISIS members had surrendered to Kurdish forces seeking to regain control of the prison.

 Clashes in the vicinity of al-Sinaa began on Thursday night, when three explosions struck near the detention facility as part of a break-out attempt with sleeper cells.

(NRT Digital Media)