ISIS Kills 700 Prisoners in East Syria: Syrian Observatory

December 19, 2018 Updated: December 19, 2018

BEIRUT—The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Dec. 19, that the ISIS terrorist group had executed nearly 700 prisoners in nearly two months in eastern Syria.

The UK-based war monitoring group said the prisoners were among 1,350 civilians and fighters that ISIS had been holding in territory near the Iraqi border.

The jihadists control a shrinking strip of land east of the Syria’s Euphrates River around the town of Hajin, which U.S.-backed forces entered this month.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
A US army vehicle supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Hajin, in the Deir Ezzor province, eastern Syria, on December 15, 2018. Kurdish-led forces seized the Islamic State’s main hub of Hajin on December 14, 2018. (Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images)

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, has battled ISIS there for several months with the help of U.S. air power and special forces.

SDF commander-in-chief Mazloum Kobani told Reuters last week that at least 5,000 ISIS extremists remain holed up in the enclave, including many foreigners who appear ready to fight to the death.

ISIS self-proclaimed caliphate has crumbled after different offensives across Iraq and Syria, though its fighters still operate in the desert border region and mount attacks.

By Ellen Francis