Kurdish-led authority: 785 IS-affiliated foreigners escaped Syria camp

More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around the northeast Syrian border as a result of fighting between Turkish-led forces and Kurdish militia.

WOMEN AND their families surrender in the last ISIS-held area in Syria last month (photo credit: REUTERS)
WOMEN AND their families surrender in the last ISIS-held area in Syria last month
(photo credit: REUTERS)
BEIRUT/VIENNA - The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said 785 foreigners affiliated with Islamic State managed to escape a camp where they were being held following Turkish shelling on Sunday.
In an apparent reference to Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, the administration said in a statement that "mercenaries" had attacked the camp where "Daesh elements" - a reference to Islamic State - in turn attacked camp guards and opened the gates.
Earlier, he Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that around 100 people - women affiliated with Islamic State and their children - escaped from the camp.
Citing sources in the camp at Ain Issa, Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said there was a state of "anarchy" inside.
The shelling of the camp at Ain Issa north of Raqqa represented "support for the revival of the Daesh organisation once again", the Kurdish-led administration for northern and eastern Syria said, referring to Islamic State militants.
Kurdish-led security forces do not have enough guards for the Ain Issa camp that holds families of Islamic State militants and dozens of them have escaped since Turkish shelling struck the area, an official with the Syrian Democratic Forces said.
Already weakened by the redeployment of forces to front lines, the guarding of the camp was further depleted on Sunday when Turkish shells crashed nearby, leading some of the remaining personnel to flee, SDF official Marvan Qamishlo said.
"The guarding is very weak now," he told Reuters.

More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around the northeast Syrian border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain as a result of fighting between Turkish-led forces and Kurdish militia, the United Nations said on Sunday.
In a statement, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said OCHA and other relief agencies estimated up to 400,000 civilians in the Syrian conflict zone may require aid and protection in the coming period.
Turkish forces targeted areas around two Syrian border towns with fresh shelling on Sunday, pressing on with their offensive against Kurdish militia for a fifth day in the face of fierce international opposition.
Turkey's stated objective is to set up a "safe zone" inside Syria to resettle many of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees it has been hosting.
More and more displaced people were arriving at collection centres, and more than 400,000 were affected by a loss of running water supplies including 82,000 residents of two refugee camps in the region, OCHA said.
Public and private hospitals in Ras al Ain and Tel Abyad, the two main targets of the Turkish-led offensive, have been closed since Friday.
OCHA also said that a trauma stabilisation south of Ras al Ain, set up to treat wounded from the conflict's front lines, was reported to have come under attack.


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