US Acting Special Envoy to Syria John Godfrey and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ethan Goldrich had a virtual meeting with northeast Syria’s (Rojava) military and political leadership on Friday, days after Kurdish forces announced victory over a major attack by the Islamic State (ISIS).
“A/SE Godfrey and DAS Goldrich met virtually with SDF and SDC leadership following the recent ISIS attack in Hasakah to discuss ongoing D-ISIS efforts in northeast #Syria. We remain committed to ensuring ISIS’s lasting defeat in partnership with the SDF,” read a tweet by the US Embassy in Syria which has been closed since 2012 due to the Syrian civil war.
Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is the political arm of the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
ISIS attacked al-Sina’a prison in Hasaka city’s Ghweran neighbourhood on January 20 with explosive-laden vehicles and other weapons. They were able to control parts of the prison for days but the Kurdish-led SDF announced victory over ISIS following one week of clashes near and inside the jail.
The rare attack by ISIS alarmed Iraq and the Kurdistan Region which share borders with Rojava. The group has recently carried out major attacks against Peshmerga forces and the Iraqi army, killing tens.
US and French forces, which are the main members of the global coalition against ISIS in Syria, supported the SDF in the week-long clash in Ghweran.
SDF is the main US ally on the ground in Syria in the fight against ISIS.
The Pentagon said it carried out airstrikes against ISIS, and State Department spokesperson Ned Price praised the “capable efforts” of Kurdish forces in Rojava.
Price added that ISIS has been trying to release its prisoners at al-Sina’a jail for the past year.
The SDF has been holding over 10,000 ISIS prisoners in jails, with about half of them being kept at al-Sina’a.