Sunday, October 13, 2019

ISIS's Campaign to Escape Detention and Camps

Key Takeaway: ISIS has begun to escape detention in northern Syria, exploiting security gaps caused by Turkey's invasion. Nearly 800 ISIS "family members" escaped a previously-secure annex inside a displacement camp in Ayn Issa, north of Raqqa City on October 13, 2019 after Kurdish security forces withdrew from the facility.  Some reports indicate the escape occurred in coordination with ISIS cells outside the camp. ISIS, then known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, previously  conducted a series of prison breaks across Iraq in 2012-2013 that enabled its reconstitution by freeing 600 fighters. Now, ISIS has an even larger opportunity to free more than 10,000 fighters detained in Northern Syria in addition to thousands more in Iraq. This time, ISIS also seeks to liberate tens of thousands of family members from the guarded annexes of displacement camps.