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SDF benefits from letting IS prisoners go, capturing more

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are said to be releasing Islamic State prisoners in Raqqa through mediation with Arab tribes, raising concerns among locals about a resurgence of the group.
Men, suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) group, gather in a prison cell in the northeastern Syrian city of Hasakeh on October 26, 2019. - Kurdish sources say around 12,000 IS fighters including Syrians, Iraqis as well as foreigners from 54 countries are being held in Kurdish-run prisons in northern Syria. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP) (Photo by FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images)

ALEPPO, Syria — The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been cracking down on civilians accused of being affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) even as the SDF has been releasing IS prisoners. The apparent contradiction seems motivated by money, engendering goodwill with local tribal leaders and justifying the SDF's continuing control of certain regions.

The SDF, a Kurdish-Arab alliance that helped the US-led coalition in the war on IS, denies the releases are improper.

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