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Press Release | Jan. 20, 2023

Statement on the One-Year Anniversary of the ISIS Attack on Ghwayran Detention Facility


Jan. 20, 2023

Release Number 20230120-02


The following statement is attributable to Colonel Joe Buccino, CENTCOM spokesperson:


“Today, the one-year anniversary of the ISIS attack on the Ghwayran detention facility in Hasakah, Syria, we are reminded of the lingering danger of the approximately 10,000 ISIS fighters in the more than two dozen detention facilities throughout Syria. These fighters, who are housed in professional conditions in these facilities, represent an ISIS army in detention.


“We must ensure the detention facilities, which are safely and humanely guarded by our partners, remain secure. Many of these detainees are not originally from Syria and we must work with the international community to transfer this population back to countries of origin.


“Last year’s attack on the detention facility resulted in a 10-day battle that involved Syrian Democratic Forces supported by U.S. forces, close air support, Apache helicopters, and Bradley Fighting Vehicles.


“Ultimately, the attack was thwarted by our partnered forces in the region. While more than 425 ISIS militants were killed, 121 SDF fighters and detention facility staff were unfortunately also killed in the fighting, and we mourn their loss.


“While CENTCOM and partner forces have significantly degraded ISIS, the group’s vile ideology threatens to radicalize a new generation of fighters and fuel the group’s resurgence. ISIS retains the goal of striking outside the region. Therefore, we remain committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS alongside our partners.”