ISIS Prepare to Break Free Extremists Out of Iraqi and Syria Prisons

Published September 26th, 2019 - 08:24 GMT
The Hawl camp in Northern Syria, for example, houses 70,000 people - all of whom lived under the so-called caliphate.  

ISIS fighters are preparing to break extremists out of huge prison camps across Iraq and Syria, a new report has warned. 

The Institute for the Study of War reported on Tuesday that ISIS wants to 'free its loyal fighters' and is using displacement camps to organize and raise funds. 

It comes just days after US President Donald Trump, growing impatient at Europe's hesitance to take back its foreign fighters, warned that the US would release fanatics on European borders if countries refused to repatriate them.  

The Hawl camp in Northern Syria, for example, houses 70,000 people - all of whom lived under the so-called caliphate.  

Most of the people at the Hawl camp are women and children, displaced by the war. 

There are an estimated 8,000 ISIS fighters imprisoned in Iraq and Syria with an additional 2,000 foreign fighters detained by US-allied Kurdish militias. 

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US Coordinator for counterterrorism, Nathan Sales, said that the US had seen a number of attempted break outs recently and that there is now more urgency for European nations to repatriate the foreign militants. 

On Friday, US President Donald Trump said that Europe needed to take the foreign fighters back or he would give them back. 

'They mostly come out of Europe, and we've done them a tremendous favor ... So they have to make their decision. Otherwise, we're releasing them at the border,' he said to reporters at the Oval Office. 

Sales refused to confirm whether Trump's plan of letting the fighters loose could actually be carried out. 

'It's impossible to predict what tomorrow is going to look like in Syria, let alone two months or six months from now ... You could envision all sorts of other scenarios playing out,' Sales told ABC News.

'We don't want to assume that the relative stability that we see today is an enduring feature.' 

The US has taken back eight of its own foreign fighters and 13 children. Six of the adults are now facing criminal charges. 

Sales said that they would not take on any other countries' fighters and that it was their responsibility to deal with them. 

The US has said that it is working to tighten the security at detention facilities but has called on European powers for additional funding and support.  

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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