Creating new perspectives since 2009

20 Daesh prisoners escape after earthquake in Syria

February 7, 2023 at 11:41 am

An outside view of a prison in Syria’s Afrin, on March 24, 2018 [Hişam El Homsi/Anadolu Agency]

Inmates in a prison in northwestern Syria revolted after the devastating earthquake that hit the area yesterday, with at least 20 managing to escape from the facility that holds mostly Daesh members, a source in the prison told AFP.

The military police prison in the town of Rajo, near the Turkish border, holds about 2,000 prisoners; about 1,300 are suspected Daesh members, according to the source. The prison also houses fighters from the Kurdish-led forces.

“After the earthquake struck, Rajo prison was affected, and on Monday evening, a rebellion began by the prisoners who took control of parts of the prison,” said the official in Rajo prison, which is controlled by pro-Turkish factions.

He added, “About 20 people escaped from prison, according to the prison’s initial estimates, and it is believed that they are Daesh prisoners.”

The source pointed out that the 7.8-magnitude earthquake was followed by dozens of aftershocks in the area, which caused cracks in the walls and doors of the prison.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it could not verify whether prisoners had escaped but did confirm a rebellion.

Over 5,000 people have been killed in Turkiye and Syria as a result of the earthquake with some 20,000 injured. Rescue efforts are continuing.

READ: Volunteers stream into Istanbul airport to join rescue effort in Turkiye, Syria