Asayish confirms deaths of 4 members in ISIS attack near Raqqa

Funeral of an Asayish member in Raqqa, Feb. 5, 2021 (Photo: Internal Security Forces in Al-Raqqa).
Funeral of an Asayish member in Raqqa, Feb. 5, 2021 (Photo: Internal Security Forces in Al-Raqqa).

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Internal Security Forces of northeast Syria, commonly known as Asayish, confirmed that four of their members were killed in an Islamic State attack last Monday.

“Four members of our forces rose to the rank of martyrdom on Monday, February 8, while performing their duties in maintaining security and protecting the people of the western town of Kabush, northwest of Raqqa, after they were subjected to an armed terrorist attack by hostile terrorist organizations,” the Asayish said on Wednesday.

The four members were identified as Alaa Al-Ibrahim, Amer al-Badr, Rasheed Al-Dhahir and Ayman Al-Muhammad.

“We in the Internal Security Forces, Al-Raqqa, will spare no effort in protecting our people and defeating terrorist cells,” the force said, adding that investigations continue to hold “terrorist cells” accountable. Despite the declaration by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led Coalition of the defeat of the extremist group’s so-called caliphate on March 23, 2019, sleeper cell attacks continue in areas that were liberated from the militants, including around Raqqa city, the group’s onetime de facto capital in Syria.

ISIS attacks have increased in the last two months, amid renewed shelling of Kurdish-led security forces by Turkish-backed groups in the town of Ain al-Issa.

Read More: ISIS increases attacks in Raqqa as Turkish-backed forces shell Ain al-Issa

The attacks have included improvised explosive device (IED) bombings and hit-and-run assaults against the Asayish and SDF, both inside Raqqa city and the province’s countryside.

“The considerable increase in attacks in Raqqa is a significant indicator of ISIS’s rising capability of conducting attacks beyond its active operating zone of Deir Ez-Zor,” Mohammad Ibrahim, a Syrian researcher and analyst who focuses on northeast Syria, previously told Kurdistan 24.

“ISIS repeatedly proves its swift resilience and ability to hit various regions whenever it finds security gaps. The ISF and SDF are currently hugely distracted in northern rural Raqqa, in Ain Issa, where there are daily clashes between SDF and Turkey-backed Islamist armed groups,” he added.

Editing by Joanne Stocker-Kelly