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Attack on a prison in Syria: should we fear the return of an Islamic caliphate?


Should we fear the return of an Islamic caliphate in Syria? The question is on everyone’s lips after the attack on Ghwayran prison in Hassaké, in the north-east of the country, this Thursday, January 20. A hundred fighters from Daesh, the Arabic acronym for Islamic State, launched an attack on the penitentiary held by Kurdish forces. According to the terrorist group’s news agency, several hundred fighters have been released. The fighting is still ongoing.

According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 45,000 people fled their homes as a result of the assault. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) counted, on Monday, 154 people killed, including 102 jihadists, 45 Kurdish fighters and seven civilians. The prison has about 3,500 suspected members of the caliphate. The scale of the assault is unprecedented since the fall of the organization in 2019. Does the attack sign the return of Daesh to the front of the stage? To see more clearly, Marianne spoke with Wassim Nasr, journalist for France 24, specialist in jihadist movements and author ofIslamic State, the fait accompli (Plon, 2016).

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Marianne : Since its defeat three years ago, the Islamic State has kept a relatively low profile in Syria. How do you interpret the assault on Ghwayran prison?

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