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Secret prison exclusively for ISIS fighters

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Secret prison exclusively for ISIS fighters

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:51 pm

Largest prison for former ISIS soldiers

Inside the secret ISIS prison, where guards deradicalize fighters with painting exercises, prisoners are piled on top of one another, and buckets are used as toilets

    Somewhere in the east of Syria, there is a heavily secured and secret prison exclusively for ISIS fighters.

    Run by the Kurdish YPG militia, the guards are afraid of showing their faces or talking about what goes on in the outside world, in case prisoners revolt or try to carry out revenge attacks.

    There are buckets in a corner of one of the prison's wings, in case there are no available restrooms.
    In the infirmary, prisoners can be heard crying and are often seriously injured.

    The prison commander says they're trying to deradicalize the former ISIS fighters using painting exercises.
They sit, squat, lie, stand in their boilersuits, all huddled together.

Then they wait.

What are they waiting for? No one is sure at this precise moment.

Somewhere in the east of Syria — where exactly, it can't be said — is the largest prison for former ISIS soldiers.

In a small town near the Iraqi border, the remaining ISIS fighters fought one final battle with the Kurdish YPG militia and their Western allies in the spring.

Higher-ranking ISIS members had already gone into hiding, especially those who'd come from elsewhere and who didn't have the connections or money to smuggle themselves out in time.

The prisoners have no idea of what's gone on in the outside world since they were captured. They're only allowed to go to the courtyard for an hour a day — otherwise, they're completely isolated from the outside world by the walls of the former factory.

Here's what it's like inside:

The prison's commander says the prisoners are being held as they were part of the ISIS caliphate
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The prison commander shows up dressed like the guards, wearing a mask.

The prison is in a heavily secured area near the city of Hasakah but the exact location of the prison has to be kept secret, according to the Kurdish YPG militia.

The Kurdish commander wears a balaclava as many of the prison guards do too, to mask their identities when dealing with the ISIS members — the fear of acts of revenge should the fighters be released is far too great.

"We have prisoners from over 40 nations, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Libya, the US, France, Switzerland, and Germany," the prison commander says. "They were all captured during the Battle of Baghuz."

Prisoners wear orange overalls throughout the prison
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The prisoners' clothing is distinctive.

Unlike prisoners in other Kurdish prisons, they all wear orange, just like those held captive by ISIS in propaganda and execution videos.

ISIS was originally trying to mimic the clothing worn by prisoners in Guantánamo.

The prison commander says the guards are trying to deradicalize the former ISIS fighters by giving them painting exercises
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A prisoner in his cell, sitting motionless on a gray mattress.

The Kurdish guards are using methods to deradicalize the fighters that may seem a little unorthodox.

"We change their minds," explains one of the guards.

While visiting a prisoner in his cell, we find a paintbox and a brightly colored painting, with flowers set against a vivid landscape.

Whether or not he painted it isn't clear, as the man is clearly intimidated and doesn't dare raise his gaze.

Comprehensive deradicalization measures aren't possible at the moment, the commander explains: "We had to withdraw some of our guards because of the Turkish offensive against us."

The air is better than you'd expect in such a crowded space
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The ventilation systems in the building actually work.

Towels hang on the walls of the cells, plastic cups are piling up, and in one corner of the room, there are buckets in case there are no available restrooms.

Other countries are reluctant to 'take back' ISIS fighters
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For the Kurdish guards, it must seem like a bad joke.

Politicians in other countries, such as Heiko Maas in Germany, have stated that they would only take back ISIS members in cases where there was evidence that could be used in court.

It must seem like a bad joke to the Kurdish guards: first, criminals invade their country.

Then, the home countries of those who invaded refuse to hold their own citizens accountable and rather, leave other countries to manage the burden.

Having a bed to yourself in the infirmary doesn't make things much better
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Despite the extra space in the infirmary, having a bed to yourself rather than being in a cell doesn't make things any better.

In the infirmary, prisoners can be heard crying, are sometimes seriously injured, and due to the risk of infection, everyone has to wear facemasks.

There are certain conversation topics that are off-limits
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Guards try to avoid the possibility of a revolt among prisoners.

When talking with the prisoners, neither the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi by US special forces nor the Turkish offensive since the beginning of October are allowed to be mentioned.

Prison staff members are worried it might trigger a revolt among the prisoners.

Since 2011, hundreds of thousands of lives have been taken by ISIS fighters
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Unlike those who were murdered, ISIS fighters won't be executed.

"We treat them as prisoners, nothing else," says the prison commander.

The guards would have no intent to exact revenge on any of the fighters, despite having lost many relatives and friends as a result of ISIS.

There have been at least 570,000 people who have lost their lives to ISIS
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Many of the victims were under the Assad regime.

As well as many of the victims from the Assad regime, there are also millions of refugees who have left Syria since 2011.

The turbulence in Syria has shown no signs of abating
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Over eight years after the uprising against dictator Assad began, Syria is still far from peace.

There is nowhere for refugees to return, not without some degree of risk.

There are still ongoing skirmishes
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Fights still break out between the Turkish army, the Syrian militia allied with them, and the Kurdish people's defense units.

After the partial withdrawal of the US, there's still ongoing fighting between the Turkish army, the Syrian militia, and the Kurdish YPG defense units in the northeast of Syria.

Turkey agreed to a ceasefire with Russia
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Though Turkey agreed to a truce with Syria's ally, Russia, it doesn't seem to have had the desired effect.

Despite the fact that Turkey agreed to end the conflict with Syrian ally, Russia, as well as the withdrawal of the YPG from the area around the border, there are still clashes.

In Idlib, the bloodshed is considerable.

Here, the Syrian and Russian air forces target and bomb hospitals and markets in the last region held by rebels.

https://www.insider.com/a-secret-isis-p ... -russia-12

I expect more money is spent per person per week on these murdering savages, than is being spent on the their Yazidi victims and what is left of the Yazidi population
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Anthea
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Secret prison exclusively for ISIS fighters

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