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21 ISIS Extremists Escape Iraqi Prison, Most Recaptured

21 ISIS Extremists Escape Iraqi Prison, Most Recaptured

Thursday, 13 December, 2018 - 10:00
Peshmerga forces in the east of Mosul attack ISIS targets. Reuters file photo
Asharq Al-Awsat
Twenty one inmates, most of them ISIS members jailed on terrorism charges, broke out of a prison in northern Iraq’s Kurdish region but 15 of them have been recaptured, Kurdish security officials said on Thursday.

The fortified jail of Sosa is located near the Iraqi Kurdish city of Sulaimaniya and includes mainly militants of the extremist group who were captured during the fight against ISIS which started in 2014.

Kurdish security officials launched manhunt operations after the break-out late on Wednesday and 15 of the 21 were recaptured, two security officials said. The whereabouts of the other six remains unknown.

Although Sosa jail is located in the Kurdish region, Iraq’s federal government has full control over the prison.

"Almost all of the convicted inmates who escaped are from ISIS," said one Kurdish security source.

It was not clear how the inmates managed to escape the highly secured prison.

ISIS, which once occupied a third of Iraq's territory, has been largely defeated in the country but still poses a threat along the border with Syria.

The group has resorted to guerrilla tactics since it abandoned its goal of holding territory and creating a so-called caliphate that straddles Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi forces have been firing on ISIS positions across the border in eastern Syria to support the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in their push against the last extremist pocket along the border.

On Tuesday, The Iraqi military said its jets have bombed two ISIS positions inside Syria that were being used as meeting places for the terrorist group.

Iraq's Joint Operations Command said in a statement that at least 30 ISIS members were present in one of the locations targeted and another 14 members in the other. The statement said the information was gathered from intelligence sources.

Both positions were in the area of Sousa, near the border with Iraq.

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