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Turkey bombs prison holding IS foreign fighters to 'help them escape', Kurdish forces say Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Turkey bombs prison holding IS foreign fighters to 'help them escape', Kurdish forces say

The broad offensive - dubbed 'Operation Peace Spring' - has drawn international outrage. [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 October, 2019

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The shelling targeted part of Chirkin prison on Wednesday night, with Kurdish authorities alleging it was a 'clear attempt' by Turkey to help IS militants escape.
Turkey has shelled a prison holding dozens of foreign Islamic State group (IS) fighters in the city of Qamishli, Syrian-led Kurdish authorities have said.

The shelling targeted part of Chirkin prison on Wednesday night, with Kurdish authorities alleging it was a "clear attempt" by Turkey to help IS militants escape.

"These attacks on prisons holding Daesh (IS) terrorists will lead to a catastrophe the consequences of which the world may not be able to handle later on," the statement said.

There was no immediate comment from Turkey.

The Turkish assault on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in northern Syria has raised fears about the fate of thousands of IS fighters currently being held by the Kurds. 

Kurdish forces have warned that the Turkish invasion could spark a resurgence of the Islamic State group, with SDF guards unable to police the IS prisoners if their forces were busy fighting off Ankara's offensive.

The SDF currently control around 20 prisons and camps containing more than 11,000 IS fighters and their families.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that particularly dangerous Islamic State group fighters held by the Kurds in northeast Syria, including two notorious British members, had been removed to US custody ahead of a Turkish attack on Wednesday.

The move addressed one of the most worrisome issues of Trump's green light to Turkey to invade Syria, where the Kurds, a longtime US battlefield partner, are viewed as a terror threat by Ankara, a NATO ally of Washington. 



Agencies contributed to this report.

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