Kurdish officials said that five members of the ISIS terrorist group fled a jail in northern Syria amid fighting on Friday.
Turkey escalated an offensive on Friday against the Kurdish militia in attacks in northeastern Syria that the Kurds say could allow the group to reemerge.
Kurdish officials said that five ISIS fighters fled a facility there, and foreign women from the group burned down tents and attacked guards with sticks and stones, Reuters reported.
The ISIS detainees escaped from a prison in Qamishli city, Marvan Qamishlo, a military media official in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, told the news agency.
He said they were able to escape due to Turkish shelling nearby.
At the al-Hol camp, where the women escaped, Qamishlo said the ISIS “women rose against the internal security forces at al-Hol, they set ablaze tents and attacked the administrative and security offices there with stones and sticks,” Reuters also reported.
A video posted Friday shows a shell landing in the courtyard of a prison facility in Qamishli, PBS reported, adding that a number of men open doors and start to leave.
There are reports that more than 10,000 ISIS members being held in prisons in the area. About 2,000 foreigners are among them.
Artillery Rounds Land Near US Forces
A Pentagon official and an Iraqi Kurdish intelligence official told Newsweek on Friday that U.S. Special Forces came under fire in northern Syria in Kurdish-controlled territory amid Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring.”
No casualties were reported.
An American defense official told Fox News on Friday that Turkish artillery rounds landed near U.S. forces in northern Syria.
“There has been no activity since the explosion,” the official added.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that Turkish forces should know what areas to avoid bombing in their incursion into Syria.
“The Turkish military is fully aware down to explicit grid coordinate detail of the locations of U.S. forces,” Milley said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the move is to secure an area inside Syria to resettle some 3.6 million Syrian refugees who were living in Turkey. The president also said it wants to fight Kurdish groups that Ankara has deemed terrorist organizations.
Some of those groups had partnered with the United States to combat ISIS.
After Erdogan announced the offensive, Trump this week described the operation as “a bad idea.” The president has also said he didn’t want the United States to be involved in “endless, senseless wars.”
Following the criticism, Erdogan said the assault “will not stop … no matter what anyone says.”
After Turkey’s military action, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the White House “can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to” during a press conference.
These are “very powerful sanctions,” and “we hope we don’t have to use them,” he said.
Department of Defense Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan R. Hoffman said in a statement that the United States opposes Turkey’s “uncoordinated actions” in northern Syria.