Kurdish Friendship Group demands European action for ISIS prisoners in North-East Syria

The Kurdish Friendship Group in the European Parliament ask for European action to deal with ISIS prisoners in North-East Syria.

François Alfonsi, EFA MEP and co-chair of the Kurdish Friendship Group wrote a letter alongside co-chairs Andreas Schieder (S&D, Austria) and Nikolaj Villumsen (THE LEFT, Denmark) demanding support to the North-East region of Syria.

The letter addressed to Josep Borell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, explained the increasingly dangerous situation in North-East Syria and alerted of the repercussions it could have in Europe. 

On the 20th of January, over 300 ISIS fighters attacked the Hasaka prison converted buildings that house around 4,000 members of ISIS from 54 countries. While at the same time, the prisoners inside started a riot, capturing and killing guards and taking control of the prison.

The North-East of Syria is notorious for the amount of ISIS housing that hosts fighters as well as children and women. One of the most known camps is the Al Hol Camp, where prisoners have imposed ISIS law and executions and killings are reported every week.

In the letter, the chairs of the Kurdish Friendship Group asked the European institutions to take action and assist in setting up appropriate structures with the prisoners before the situation escalates to a dangerous threat. 

The Kurdish Friendship Group Chairs said: 

“It is now almost three years since the world celebrated the territorial defeat of ISIS. To achieve that defeat, over 11,000 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – Kurds, Arabs and others – gave their lives”.

“In North-East Syria there are also other prisons housing ISIS fighters and camps housing ISIS women and children - Every week there are reports of killings in al Hol, especially executions of those trying to break with ISIS ideology, and a generation of children is being indoctrinated by ISIS mothers”.

Greens/EFA MEP Alfonsi, S&D MEP Schieder and the LEFT MEP Villumsen concluded:

“Setting up appropriate structures to deal with the prisoners (courts, prisons, de-radicalisation programmes) will not be easy, but is desperately necessary. This is a clear and attainable goal, where European action could make a vital difference”.