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Attack on Syrian prison holding Iraqi Islamic State captives raises concerns

Local forces backed by coalition air support reportedly prevented an attack on a prison housing thousands of Islamic State operatives in northeastern Syria under Kurdish-led administration.
A member of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, removes an Islamic State group flag in the town of Tabqa, about 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of Raqa city, on April 30, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the group's de facto capital.

ERBIL, Iraqi Kurdistan — Reports of a planned Nov. 8 attack on a detention facility hosting thousands of alleged Islamic State operatives from Iraq and other countries in northeastern Syria earlier this month have heightened concerns about risks to regional stability and gains against the international terrorist group.

The Sinaa prison, which was apparently the intended target, holds several thousand IS operatives and is known to only occasionally be subjected to sweep-up operations by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The SDF has repeatedly lamented a lack of funding and personnel to do more than simply allow the prisoners to effectively run their own affairs within the prison. The attack is thought to have been planned to liberate prisoners held.

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