The Syria Democratic Forces release more than 600 Syrian prisoners accused of terrorism for their dealings with the Islamic State organization

The Syria Democratic Forces on Thursday released more than 600 Syrian prisoners who were detained there on charges related to terrorism for their dealings with ISIS, as part of a general amnesty law, the first of its kind in the region.

Thousands of detainees suspected of belonging to the organization, including hundreds of foreigners of various nationalities, are in the prisons of the Syria Democratic Forces, the military forces associated with the Kurdish Autonomous Administration in northeastern Syria.

A few days ago, the Kurdish Autonomous Administration announced the issuance of a general amnesty, the first in the region, under which, on Thursday, 631 prisoners who were sentenced on terrorism charges and whose sentences exceeded half their sentences were released.

Amina Omar, co-chair of the Syria Democratic Council, said during a press conference in the city of Qamishli, that “those who were released are Syrians” who dealt with the organization but “did not commit criminal acts”.

It indicated that they were released “with the mediation and request of the heads of the Arab tribes,” which constitute the majority in large areas controlled by the Kurds, especially in eastern Syria.

The Syria Democratic Forces had previously released dozens of Syrians in its prisons after obtaining guarantees from tribal leaders, but this is the first time that they released prisoners as part of a general amnesty.

When these forces were established, they attracted thousands of Arab fighters from the region, in an attempt to win over the Arab component and reduce the Arab-Kurdish sensitivity in the region that holds the Kurdish self-administration in its joints.

In front of Alaya prison on the outskirts of Qamishli, an AFP correspondent saw dozens of prisoners as they were released. 

Some of them carry bags and others have lost a limb, under heavy security guard. 

Their families, including women and children, were waiting for them.

This decision came after the Autonomous Administration announced that thousands of Syrians, including displaced persons and family members of ISIS fighters, would be allowed to leave the crowded al Hol camp, which houses more than 64,000 people, including foreigners.

Since announcing the elimination of the extremist group’s “caliphate” in March 2019, the Kurds, who have spearheaded the fight against the group, have demanded US support, demanding states concerned to take back their citizens in custody or establish an international court to try jihadists. 

However, most countries, especially European ones, insist not to take back their citizens.

Several European countries, including France, were satisfied with the recovery of a limited number of orphan children from the children of French jihadists.