Fears Grow That ISIS Will Use Turkish Invasion of Syria to Free 15,000 Jihadists Currently Imprisoned by the Kurds

FILE – This file image made from video posted on a militant website Monday, April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his group’s Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP, File)

Kurdish fighters have warned that Turkey’s Syrian invasion may allow ISIS to attempt mass prison breaks as the US backs out of its occupied territories.

More than 15,000 ISIS fanatics are currently jailed in northeast Syria as Turkey plans the cross-border military operation.

The forces have warned that ISIS sleeper cells are actively plotting to free about 12,000 militants currently detained by the Kurds and may take advantage of the Turkey-triggered turmoil to aid their plans.

With Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan branding Syrian Kurds as terrorists amid a bloody Kurdish insurgency plaguing his country, the group – previously backed by US troops – have hit out at America, accusing them of abandonment.


US troops have fought alongside Kurdish fighters in Syria for years in the successful effort to topple ISIS’ so-called caliphate – but have begun to pull back as Turkish forces advance.

Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said in a statement on Monday: “The American forces did not abide by their commitments and withdrew their forces along the border with Turkey.”

They also warned that Turkey’s offensive would have a “huge negative effect” on the continuing campaign to wipe out ISIS.

It comes as Fox News reports that higher-ups at the Pentagon were “completely blindsided” by the US decision to pull out of Syria and stop fighting beside the Syrian Kurds.

Of the 15,000 ISIS fanatics in custody, it’s estimated around 2,500 of them are foreign fighters from European countries who have refused to take them back.

US officials said in a statement on Sunday that Turkey will now take custody of the thousands of militants.

The warning comes as the Institute for the Study of War said ISIS wants to “free its loyal fighters.”

According to the report, the extremists are using displacement camps to organise and raise cash.

ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has himself urged fanatics to free thousands of jihadis in a huge uprising.

In an audio recording, he said the camps were run by “Crusaders” and their “Shia allies” and called on his followers to free jihadis and their brides.

“The prisons, the prisons, soldiers of the caliphate!” he said in the audio released by the ISIS media unit, known as al-Furqan.

“Do your utmost to rescue your brothers and sisters and break down the walls that imprison them.”

Nathan Sales, US Coordinator for counterterrorism, said there had been a number of recent break out attempts from camps and jails.

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Source: The Sun