Leaving captured men, women and children in prisons and camps run by Kurds risks seeding a new global terrorism disaster, rights groups and the U.S. military warn.
Security forces say they opened fire this week after they were attacked by women and children at Al Hol camp in northeastern Syria, which holds about 60,000 family members of former ISIS fighters.
The Kurds of northeastern Syria dreamed of establishing an autonomous, multiethnic and gender-equal utopia. Instead, their breakaway region has been engulfed in conflict since its creation.
UNICEF was given the first glimpse of teenage detainees at a prison attacked by ISIS two weeks ago in northeastern Syria.
The bodies of at least two boys were found on a street behind the prison — the first confirmed deaths among up to 700 teenagers who had been detained there because they were the children of ISIS fighters.
The fighting was the most intense urban warfare involving American troops in Iraq and Syria since the fall of the ISIS caliphate.
The Islamic State may no longer be able to control territory, but it has shown in Syria and Iraq that it can still pull off opportunistic military operations.
The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces militia demanded that about 60 ISIS militants, still holed up in a prison a week after they attacked it, give themselves up or risk being killed.
Kurdish-led forces said that up to 90 ISIS fighters were still holed up in the prison in Hasaka in northeastern Syria, despite earlier claims that they had retaken full control of the complex.
The six-day battle put a spotlight on the humanitarian and security issues left unresolved after the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate was destroyed.
About 700 boys have been held for years in a prison in Syria because their parents joined the Islamic State. Now their lives are in danger.
“ISIS is not over”: Attacks in Syria and Iraq make clear that the militants have lost neither their will to fight nor their ability to do so.
Paramilitary forces in northeastern Syria say they have regained partial control of a prison attacked by the Islamic State last week. Hundreds of boys are being held hostage.
The attack on a prison run by a U.S.-backed militia in northeastern Syria set off deadly clashes and highlighted the area’s tenuous security.
The suspects had been held by Syrian forces along with prisoners from other countries whose governments have been reluctant to take back the men.
Overcrowded, makeshift prisons and camps and fears of Covid-19 have led to two riots by hardened fighters.