Beirut, Mar 30:
Islamic State militants rioted inside in a prison in northeastern Syria, wrestling control from guards on an entire floor in the facility while a number of prisoners managed to escape, a Syrian Kurdish official said Sunday.
Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, said anti-terrorism forces were working to regain control of the prison in the eastern Hassakeh province, adding that more forces were on their way.
The prison is believed to house foreign IS militants. It is not clear what nationalities were held there.
The US-led coalition said it was assisting the SDF with aerial surveillance as they quell the riot. The coalition said in a tweet that the facility holds low level IS members.
The coalition said its forces don’t staff any detention facilities in Syria. Bali said the number of those who escaped remains unclear. He said so far there is no connection between the riot and fears of the fast-spreading, new coronavirus.
“Riots often break out in prisons. But this time the scale of the riot is large,” Bali said in a text message to the Associated Press.