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Islamic State prison break reinforces value of US military protection for Syria's Kurds

‘Cubs of Caliphate’ are among 700 boys held in Islamic State prison, as Syrian Kurdish forces keep up the battle to retake control
Kurdish security forces in Syria's Hasakah on Jan. 22, 2022, amid ongoing fighting with the Islamic State.

Kurdish-led forces in northeast Syria battled for a fifth day to regain full control of the country’s largest prison for Islamic State (IS) detainees, as coalition aircraft bombed jihadi targets in support of the effort to contain the deadliest violence since the territorial defeat of their so-called “caliphate” in 2019.

A spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the US-backed multiethnic army had gained control of one of the buildings in the overcrowded complex, which holds around 4,000 IS suspects, most of them foreign fighters. Some 300 of them had surrendered, the SDF said. But the group reportedly retained control of the north wing of the prison. It is now confirmed that American and British special forces are taking part in the operation to retake the prison, the Rojava Information Center, an independent research organization documenting economic and security developments in northeast Syria, said citing sources on the ground. 

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