JERUSALEM, Israel – Kurdish authorities in northern Syria announced on Sunday that 785 ISIS-affiliated terrorists managed to escape a prison camp as Turkey continues to pound Kurdish-led Syrian forces.
“Today at least 785 foreign ISIS members escaped from Ain Issa camp with the help of mercenaries and air cover from Turkish warplanes,” the Kurdish administration said in a statement published on Facebook.
“The mercenaries and the Turkish troops attacked the camp earlier and gave a corridor for foreign ISIS members to attack the camp security guards and escape successfully,” it added.
Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Defense Forces, tweeted: “Almost all suspected ISIS militants fled the camp.”
Ain Isa camp. Almost all suspected ISIS militants fled the camp. pic.twitter.com/sT2Cf4PWtI
— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) October 13, 2019
Kurdish-led forces do not have the man-power to guard the ISIS terrorists because they are in a fight for survival against the Turkish military. On Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a campaign to invade northeastern Syria to wipe out the Kurdish forces and relocated some 2 million Syrian refugees. Erdogan began the offensive after President Donald Trump said the US would withdraw and standby as Turkish forces invade Syria.
Erdogan says the Syrian Kurds are terrorists because they are being linked to a Kurdish insurgency in Turkey that challenged his rule, but the Syrian Kurds are US allies who fought alongside American soldiers in the war against ISIS.
Now, the Kurds say they can no longer fight that war.
"Securing ISIS detention centers or chasing sleeper cells is not our priority. We are solely focused on fighting Turkish aggression and protecting our people from it. World can handle ISIS issue if they really care about it,” a Kurdish YPA spokesman said.
Bali said it is time to end the assumption that “the Kurds are the only people who should really be dealing with ISIS remnants.”
“ISIS is not a Syrian internal issue,” he continued.
Meanwhile, the US ordered more American troops to withdraw from northeastern Syria as the fighting intensified on Sunday.
“At this point we should not be supposed to keep guarding ISIS prisons and chasing sleeper cells with little to no means we have while at the same time a brutal offensive by a NATO country is underway to invade our cities. No, you should not expect us to take care of your terrorist citizens while you have no issues with seeing our children getting killed, our people displaced and our region getting ethnically cleansed.” Bali said.
“If the world seriously considers Daesh as a threat to their security, which I am 100% sure is not the case, there is a great opportunity to prove it. Otherwise we will face the consequences all together very soon. But this time there may not be someone to do the work for them,” Bali concluded.