America’s Kurdish allies in Syria are discussing the release of 3,200 Islamic State prisoners, a prominent monitoring group and a Western official of the anti-Islamic State coalition said on Thursday, a day after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all American troops from the country.
Top officials of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led and American-supported militia fighting the Islamic State in eastern Syria, met on Wednesday to discuss the option of releasing about 1,100 Islamic State fighters and 2,080 relatives of the group’s members, according to Rami Abdul Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights.
Mostapha Bali, the spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, or S.D.F., denied that there had been any discussion of releasing prisoners from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. “Any news coming from such sources is not reliable and is not coming from us,” he said.
But a Western official from the United States-led coalition fighting in Syria, which includes more than a dozen countries, confirmed that such discussions had taken place. [Continue reading…]