Kurdish Officials: Hundreds of ISIS Fighters Fled After Turkish Airstrikes

As Turkey picks up attacks, Kurdish guards sent elsewhere

With Turkish airstrikes hitting a number of Kurdish-controlled sites across northeastern Syria, Kurdish officials are looking to emphasize those strikes that hit a major detention camp for ISIS fighters.

The strikes on the camps, according to officials, have allowed hundreds of ISIS detainees to make their getaways. It’s not clear how many of these are actual fighters, or how many are just relatives, as all were held together.

Kurdish statements are leaning toward the high-end on escapees, saying that 785 foreigners had escaped. Some officials even accused Turkish-backed “mercenaries” of attacking the base on the ground and opening the gates for ISIS.

That seems unlikely, but there seems to be a strong interest among Kurdish officials to set the stage for blaming Turkey for anything that ISIS fighters do in the future. They have emphasized that there are fewer guards at the detention site because with Turkish fighters attacking the region, they’ve had to be sent elsewhere to defend other locations.

This was to be expected, and the US emphasizes that they intend to hold Turkey accountable for the ISIS fighters, so it was inevitable that what was happening in north Syria would result in at least some ISIS fighters getting loose.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.