U.S.-backed forces in northeastern Syria are warning the latest attempt by the Islamic State terror group to break thousands of its followers out of prison was part of a bigger plot designed to take and hold territory – a capability most Western counterterrorism officials have assessed to be beyond the group’s current reach.
Officials with the Syrian Democratic Forces said they based their conclusion on interrogations with captured Islamic State fighters and prisoners, and on documents recovered after the al-Sina’a prison in Hasaka and surrounding areas were secured.
“If their attack had succeeded, they would have attacked other neighborhoods in al-Hasaka as well, in conjunction with the attacks on the areas of al-Hol, al-Shadada, and Deir el-Zour, to put their extensive scheme into effect,” the SDF said in a statement Monday.
“They wanted to launch a large-scale attack on the area to spread once again their terrorism,” the SDF said, adding the IS-liberated areas were to be called the “Second Islamic State.”
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