Syrian-Kurdish Forces Retake Part of Prison Held by ISIS
BAGHDAD — U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces said they regained control Monday of part of a prison in northeast Syria that Islamic State fighters had held since an attack on Friday.
The prison houses thousands of suspected ISIS fighters along with almost 700 boys, who were being used by ISIS as human shields.
The regional force, the Syrian Democratic Forces, said that they had recaptured one of the prison’s three buildings in a dawn raid on Monday and that about 300 Islamic State fighters had surrendered.
“Our forces raided at five o’clock this morning and took control of one of the prison buildings in which these mercenaries were holed up,” the S.D.F. said in a statement.
The Rojava Information Center, run by pro-Syrian Kurdish activists, said part of the complex was still under ISIS control.
It was not clear how many ISIS fighters remained, or whether the boys were still being held hostage.
The United States has launched Apache helicopter airstrikes over the past three days to try to break the siege, killing an unknown number of prisoners.
The inmates include boys as young as 12, including Syrians, Iraqis and about 150 non-Arab foreigners. Some were transferred to the prison when they were deemed too old to remain in detention camps that held families of Islamic State suspects.