ISIS Steps Up Jailbreaks in Chaotic Northern Syria

ISIS reports they'd freed women held in Raqqa

With fighting erupting in northern Syria taking a lot of attention, ISIS remnants are moving to carry out a number of prison breaks in the region, hoping they can get some of the thousands of detainees held there back on the battlefield.

ISIS issued a statement saying they’d carried out a break west of Raqqa, freeing a number of women held by the Syrian Kurds. They did not indicate how many, and the Kurds did not comment on this matter.

The Kurds have tried to pin breakouts in the safe zone area on Turkey’s invasion, saying they could no longer afford to dedicate guards to those sites. Raqqa, however, is well south of the safe zone, so it’s not clear if the Kurds have just left those prisons abandoned as well.

After the US-backed Kurdish offensive into ISIS territory ended in victory, the Kurds were basically stuck with huge numbers of prisoners, most of them from other countries, and very few of whom anyone ever intended to take back.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of