US Airstrikes Hit ISIS Prison in Eastern Syria, Killing 23

Mostly Prisoners Slain in Attack Along Syria-Iraq Border

US warplanes attacked an ISIS-run prison in the eastern Syrian border town of Abu Kamal over the weekend, killing at least 23 people, including 18 prisoners and five ISIS members. Among the slain prisoners, at least 10 were reportedly Iraqis.

The US has yet to comment on the incident, including why they attacked. It is not particularly unusual, however, for US warplanes to attack ISIS-run prisons or anything else with an ISIS presence, and claim it’s a “base of operation.”

Such a target is clearly a problematic one, however, because obviously people being held as detainees by ISIS aren’t necessarily “combatants” in any way, and a US strike against a prison is inevitably going to kill more prisoners than guards.

Abu Kamal has been a key target for the US for quite some time, as it is the main border crossing from Syria into neighboring Iraq. ISIS has held the area for years, though US-backed rebels have at times attempted to contest control of it.
The prison itself was also the target of a British airstrike back in May, during which they stopped an attempted execution of detainees.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.