HESEKÊ - SDF General Command Member Newroz Ehmed, who stated that they launched an operation against "sleeper cells" after the ISIS attack in Hesekê, called for the establishment of an international court for ISIS members.
The Internal Security Forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation after the ISIS attack on the Sinaa Prison in Hesekê's Xiwêran District on January 20. Following the clashes in the region, the prison was taken under control on Wednesday. With the attack of ISIS against the prison, simultaneous attacks were carried out in other cities. Newroz Ehmed, SDF General Command Member and one of the commanders leading the operation spoke to Mesopotamia Agency (MA) regarding the operation that ended on January 26, the anniversary of the victory of Kobanê resistance.
'THEY ATTACKED BEFORE'
Stating that ISIS carried out similar attacks before but they were repeled by their security and military forces, Ehmed told that high-ranking ISIS commanders who were captured in Baxoz was held in Sinaa Prison. Underlining that this is why this prison was important for ISIS, Ehmed said: "This is why they carried out frequent attacks at this prison to free the ISIS commanders. The occupying Turkish state was also attacking in Serêkanîyê, Til Ebyad and other places. But they couldn't get what they want. Therefore, it makes sense to us that this attack took place in such a period when he recently said they have a new strategy. It was a much broader attack compared to the attacks carried out against us before. They were prepared from the outside in huge numbers."
GANGS BACKED BY TURKEY
Stating that some gangs controlled by Turkey came to the area as well as other groups from Syria and Iraq, Ehmed said: "They all got mobilized simultaneously with the attack. The prison was not the only target. It is ofcourse very important for them because very important ISIS commanders are held there. They aimed to free those commanders and take control of the area. ISIS is regrouping and it wants to declare caliphacy again. The scale of this attack shows that they are re-organising."
THE PRISON DANGER
Stating that they have repeatedly told that the prisons are very dangerous, Ehmed said: "We provided security but it was not enough. We told that before. We told that the prison they are being held in is not secure enough. Our forces were able to repel the attack and re-take control of the prison. We have repeatedly told that an international court must be established. This burden does not belong to SDF and Autonomous Administration alone.
'OPERATION AGAINST SLEEPER CELLS'
Pointing out that they held talks with the international coalition before regarding the prison, Ehmed said: "What the coalition is doing about the prison is not enough. This attack shows this fact clearly. The comprehensive operation against the sleeper cells continue not only in Hesekê, but around the city and the surrounding cities."
CALL FOR INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL
Repeating that the operations against ISIS continues, Ehmed said: "Our main mission was to clear and neutralize them and retake the control of the prison. They attacked with huge numbers from the outside and with heavy weaponry. We were able to stop this attack. It was hard but everything is under control now. The hard thing was that there were civillians in the neighborhood and there were minors in prison too. We were making efforts to change their ideologies. We saw that ISIS used them as shields. We didn't want any civillian casualties. We wanted to rescue all of the minor prisoners. We were able to do that. Now they are in a safer place. But it is not enough. We need support. We need to work together to return these people to their countries and stand trial there for their crimes. This is an international issue. This is not just about us. Our resources are very limited. We don't have the technical means. We have called on the international coalition over and over again. An international court must be established before these people re-organises. Countries of the coalition must take back their citizens. They are a danger for the whole world. We have to take this responsibility together. This is very important. We have to talk about how this attack was planned, how could they do it, what are our security flaws? We have lost people in this attack. All of our forces participated in the cleansing move with great sacrifice. They fought to the end heroically. Ten thousand fighters participated in this clean-up operation."
TURKEY'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE ATTACK
Stating that their investigation is ongoing, Ehmed told that they will share the result with the public. Ehmed said: "Those who surrendered confessed that they came from the cities controlled by Turkey. We have faced an attack from Turkey as well during the time we were fighting against this ISIS attack. Our investigation will shed a light on the material facts and eveything will be revealed."
MA / Nazım Daştan