October 14, 2019

Hundreds of ISIS prisoners are escaping from camps in northern Syria amid Turkish offensive

Islamic State fighters are seizing a chance to escape and regroup as U.S.-allied Kurdish forces turn their attention from guarding thousands of captive extremists to defending themselves from Turkey’s assault.

More than 800 suspected IS detainees escaped the Ayn Issa camp in northern Syria on Sunday, Kurdish forces said in a statement, five days into Turkey’s military incursion into norther Syria.

Jelal Ayaf, co-chair of Ayn Issa camp, told local media that 859 people “successfully escaped” the section of the camp holding foreign nationals. He also said attacks were already being carried out by “sleeper cells” that had emerged from inside the camp, which holds IS prisoners, internally displaced persons and families or affiliates of IS fighters. While some escapees could be recaptured, he described the situation in the camp as “very volatile.”

Read the full story and more in NBC News.