HASAKA, Syria – Kurdish-led forces in Syria killed 23 Islamic State militants including foreigners in clashes after the jihadist group attacked a prison in the northeastern city of Hasaka on Thursday, a military source in the Kurdish-led forces said.
Seven members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and an allied security force called the Asayish were killed in the attack, an attempt by Islamic State to free prisoners in the jail, the SDF military source said on Friday.
Across the border in neighbouring Iraq, 11 Iraqi soldiers including an officer were killed on Friday when Islamic State militants attacked their base in Diyala province, Iraqi Defence Minister Jouma Anad said on Twitter.
Islamic State controlled swathes of Syria and Iraq until it was driven from the territory in 2017-19 by adversaries including a U.S.-led coalition, the SDF, and Iraqi security forces. Islamic State cells continue to carry out attacks in both countries.
The SDF said it had detained 89 militants in the area of the prison, where clashes were continuing. A witness said warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition could be heard overhead.
It was the second time since December that Islamic State had attacked the prison in an effort to free inmates.
The SDF military source said the attack on the prison coincided with Islamic State attacks in Iraq and what he described as movements by the militant group in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zor.
“Islamic State is trying to impose its control on the area and to revive its organisation once again,” the source said.