The SDF still experience problems with the security of their prisons. Seven members of the Islamic State (ISIS) group escaped from a small prison in North-East Syria today, with four recaptured and a search continuing for the remaining three, said Syrian state media and an official with the main Kurdish-led US-backed force in the region.
The militants fled from a jail on the edge of the town of Al-Hol, home to a sprawling camp where tens of thousands of ISIS wives, widows, and children live, said state news agency SANA and a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mervan Qamishlo. The prison is separate from the camp.
Kurdish authorities currently operate more than two dozen detention facilities scattered across northeastern Syria, holding about 10,000 ISIS fighters. Among the detainees are some 2,000 foreigners whose home countries have refused to repatriate them, including about 800 Europeans.
Earlier this month, imprisoned ISIS members rioted and took control of a prison in the northeastern Syrian of Hasaka for several hours, until Kurdish-led authorities negotiated an end to the unrest.
In late March, a two-day riot and takeover of the same prison in Hasaka allowed four extremists to escape.
On the same day that seven ISIS members escape, SDF decides to lighten its security burden by giving amnesty to prisoners.
It declared a mass prison amnesty for the advent of Eid al-Fitr, which excludes convicted terror offenders, rapists, and drug dealers.
The amnesty provides a full pardon for those charged with “violations” – although the Autonomous Administration provided no specifics. The term is usually used to refer to minor crimes like traffic offenses and breaches of building regulations.
The opposition Kurdish National Council (ENKS) claims several of its members have been arrested by PYD authorities – the fate of many currently unknown. Local authorities deny they are holding ENKS members. It is not clear whether the amnesty extends to political prisoners.