The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released 400 former ISIS fighters a few weeks only after they had been captured, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported on January 10. The report added that the released ISIS fighters include dozens of well-known ISIS members and commanders.
Moreover, the SOHR said that the SDF even allowed 120 former ISIS fighters from Deir Ezzor and al-Hasakah governorates to join its ranks. The former ISIS fighters who joined the SDF are all related to SDF leaders, according to the report.
The release of these former ISIS fighters led to the growth of tensions in eastern Syria, as the locals who were victims of these fighters clashed with them in many villages, according to the SOHR. The media outlet even said that fire arms were used by the new “SDF members” against the locals. However, the US-backed forces didn’t step in to end the clashes, according to the source.
So far, the Kurdish-dominated SDF has released hundreds of former ISIS fighters including 75 former ISIS fighters on May 8, 2017 and 86 others on November 8, 2017. Most of ISIS fighters who were released previously, were captured in action by the SDF during the Raqqa battle.
The Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria said on December 16, 2017 that the US-led coalition is using refugee camps controlled by the SDF in al-Hasakah governorate as a base for training former members of ISIS.
Many observers have warned that the SDF attempts to absorb Syrian ISIS fighters in order to create an Arab force within the SDF will led to more terrorism in Syria and the region. Especially that these released ISIS fighters were not a subject of a fair trial.