At least 37 inmates associated with the Islamic State (ISIS) have reportedly escaped from a prison in the Syrian city of Ras Al-Ain (Serê Kaniyê). The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on Saturday that the prisoners managed to escape at different times with the assistance of Turkish-backed rebel factions in the Turkey-controlled area of northwestern Al-Hasakah (Heseke).
The SOHR said that the military police and militiamen of the rebel factions facilitated the escape of the prisoners, leading them to the Mabrouka area, which is currently under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in western Al-Hasakah.
The SDF has arrested 18 of the fugitives who entered the areas under their control and initiated investigations. The Kurdish security forces are actively pursuing the remaining 19 escapees who crossed into SDF-controlled areas on Saturday.
Concerns have arisen that these prisoners may be high-ranking ISIS commanders deliberately sent to SDF-controlled areas to carry out premeditated operations.
In another development, approximately 40 families of Iraqi nationality associated with ISIS, including women and children, departed from Ras Al-Ain in the Turkish-controlled area of Al-Hasakah countryside, heading towards Turkish territory through the border crossing.
These families will reportedly be handed over to the Iraqi government by the Turkish consulate upon entering Turkish territory, following joint coordination between the two parties.
Meanwhile, Mehr, the semi-official news agency of the Iranian government has reported that 25 ISIS prisoners have escaped from a detention facility under Turkish-backed factions’ control in Al-Hasakah. While their destination remains unknown, it is believed that they may have fled towards Turkish lands adjacent to the city, Mehr said.