Syrian Kurdish official warns of Islamic State jail break
A seniorKurdish official warned on Thursday that Islamic State militants could breakout of prisons in northeast Syria as fighting intensifies between theKurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey.
Badran Jia Kurd told Reuters the number of securityforces guarding the IS detainees would have to be reduced as the Turkish forcesstep up an offensive that got underway on Wednesday.
"This attack will definitely reduce and weakenthe guarding system for those Daesh militants in the prisons," he said,using the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
"This could lead to their escape or to behaviorsthat may get out of the control of the security forces," added Jia Kurd,adviser to the Kurdish-led authority running much of north and east Syria.
"The number of forces guarding the prisons isreduced the more the battles intensify. This poses a grave danger."
Turkey launched an offensive on Wednesday againstKurdish fighters in northeast Syria, after U.S. forces withdrew from part ofthe border region, opening up a dangerous new phase in Syria's more thaneight-year-old conflict.
The SDF holds thousands of Islamic State fighters inprisons and tens of thousands of their relatives in camps, many of themforeigners. With the Kurdish YPG militia at its forefront, the SDF defeatedjihadists in swathes of north and east Syria with U.S. help including groundforces and air power.