Almost 500 Dead in NE Syria’s ISIS Clashes

US cheers Kurds, says troops foiled ISIS comeback plot

The latest statement from the Kurdish SDF on over a week of fighting against ISIS in Hasakeh put the overall death toll at nearly 500, including 77 prison staff and 374 prisoners.

The prison was holding ISIS detainees, so the labels of prison staff and prisoners could be meant to include SDF forces defending the prison, and ISIS attackers trying to help prisoners escape. The SDF arrested a number of attackers, and has also captured 27 in nearby Raqqa, suggesting that they are worried about a growing ISIS presence.

The US is praising the SDF, but also crediting America’s own involvement in the fighting. This was seen as a “major ISIS comeback plot,” and indeed this was the biggest ISIS fight in Syria since 2019.

Where the ISIS situation goes from here remains to be seen, but the group is probably not going to give up after one failed raid, and has shown that it has recovered some of its power. That said, the Raqqa arrest raids show the SDF is also going to be proactive in trying to stamp down any ISIS presence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.