In Syria, families of ISIS members escape from Ain Issa camp

Kurdish authorities called for "swift action to prevent a catastrophe whose consequences will not be limited to Syria".

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A Syrian woman and her child, in Ain Issa camp, in July 2017. BULENT KILIC / AFP

Families of members of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group have fled the Ain Issa IDP camp in northern Syria, located near fighting between Kurdish and Turkish forces, the Kurdish authorities announced on Sunday (October 13th). More than a hundred people, women and childrens are concerned, according to a camp official, who is home to several thousand people.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) confirmed that"About a hundred" women and children from IS families have fled. The NGO, based in London and working with a network of informants on the Syrian field, said they were foreign but not able to give their nationalities.

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"Prevent a disaster"

Addressing the United Nations (UN) as well as the international coalition led by Washington set up to fight against jihadists, the Kurdish authorities demanded "A quick response to prevent a disaster whose consequences will not be limited to Syria".

Since the beginning of the offensive launched by Ankara and its Syrian counterparts against their regions in northern Syria at war, the Kurdish authorities have repeatedly warned against a resurgence of IS. They ensured that the security chaos could allow the IS to free the thousands of jihadists and their families who are being held in jails or IDP camps.

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Some 12,000 IS fighters – Syrians, Iraqis, but also 2,500 to 3,000 foreigners from 54 countries – are being held in Kurdish prisons, according to official statistics. IDP camps are home to some 12,000 foreigners, 8,000 children and 4,000 women.

To protest against the offensive led by Turkey, several European countries, including Germany, announced in recent days suspend the sale of weapons in Ankara. France has been part of it since Saturday, in order to express "Its firm condemnation of Turkey's unilateral offensive in northeastern Syria".

Since the start of the Turkish offensive against a Syrian Kurdish militia on Wednesday, more than 130,000 people have been displaced, according to the UN.

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