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Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:31 GMT

US Official Says 100 Isis Prisoners Escaped After Turkey’s Invasion

Counterterrorism & Security

7Dnews London

Wed, 23 Oct 2019 21:54 GMT

A senior US official said on Wednesday October 23rd that more than 100 prisoners linked to Isis escaped amid the chaos triggered by Turkey's incursion into northern Syria, reported AFP.

The US State Department point man on Syria, James Jeffrey, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that more than 100 prisoners fled the jails during the Turkish military offensive. Jeffrey added that the whereabouts of those fugitives are unknown.

Turkey launched the offensive after Trump's decision to pull US troops who were allied with Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces during the military campaign against Isis terrorist groups.

Jeffrey said that the Kurdish fighters are still guarding prisoners linked to the terrorist group. However, they warned that they would need to devote more resources which could be used to secure terrorists to the Turkish assault.

Jeffery said that almost all of the prisons under SDF control are still secured, adding that the US still have people in Syria to work with the SDF and secure these prisons.

Jeffrey's remarks contradicted earlier statements given by Trump, in which he said that "Kurds are safe and have worked very nicely with us, captured Isis prisoners are secured."

Jeffery dismissed allegations that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is carrying out ethnic cleansing against the Kurds. However, he accused Turkey and its allies from the Syrian forces of committing war crimes.

"We haven't seen any widespread ethnic cleansing in that area since the Turks have come in. Many people have fled because they were concerned about these Turkish-supported Syrian opposition forces, as are we," Jeffrey said.

"We have seen several incidents which we consider war crimes," he added.

Middle East