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Turkey accused of masterminding Isis attack on prison in northern Syria

TURKEY was accused of masterminding the massive Isis attack on a prison in northern Syria today as Kurdish-led forces regained control after days of intense fighting.

More than 500 prisoners from Ghwayran jail in Hasakah province have surrendered to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

But sporadic fighting continued in the northern part of the complex, which holds more than 3,000 Isis fighters captured on the battlefields of the area known by Kurds as Rojava.

SDF spokesman Ferhat Shami said that progress was slow as “we are more interested in liberating hostages and protecting our people than eliminating mercenaries.”

The region’s autonomous administration said that the attack, which started last Thursday, was “part of a well-organised plan.”

More than 200 Isis fighters were involved in the attempt to liberate fanatics housed in the jail while jihadist cells inside started fires and overpowered prison guards. 

Thousands of local residents were forced out of their homes, while the US provided air support for the SDF against what is the biggest attack launched by Isis for a number of years.

British special forces were also involved in combating the Isis attackers, sources on the ground told the Morning Star.

Officials of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria said today that the assault had “a broader purpose” than merely freeing the jihadists.

“The Turkish state is trying to resurrect Isis in a bid to destroy the security of the region and the gains achieved,” a statement said, claiming to have documentary evidence.

Turkey has long struggled to shake off allegations that it supports Isis, including claims that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan runs a family business that trades oil with the jihadists from both Iraq and Syria.

At one stage, Turkey granted a monopoly to Powertrans to transport oil from Iraqi Kurdistan, much of it allegedly bought from Isis.

The Turkish state and its intelligence services have also been accused of sending weapons to jihadist groups in Syria via shady private security company Sadat, whose founder Adnan Tanriverdi is an adviser to Mr Erdogan.

Inside Turkey, forces from Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party were accused in a European Union intelligence report of commissioning Isis to carry out a 2015 bombing in Ankara that killed which more than 100 people.

On Sunday, the SDF circulated picture of a weapon marked in Turkish as Nato stock, which it claims to have captured from an Isis fighter.

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