Explosions overnight in the town of Qamishli, near the Iraqi border, damaged Chirkin prison where jihadi militants from some 60 countries are being kept, guards said.
‘These attacks on prisons holding Daesh (ISIS) terrorists will lead to a catastrophe the consequences of which the world may not be able to handle later on,’ the Kurds said.
Turkey began shelling and bombing the Kurdish-held town of Qamishli on Wednesday ahead of a planned invasion after Donald Trump handed control of the region to President Erdogan
Kurdish forces say shells struck the al-Chirkin prison, where some of ISIS’s most dangerous jihadis from 60 foreign countries are being held (file image)
Mustafa Bali, spokesman for Kurdish forces in northern Syria, added that Chirkin prison is where ‘the most dangerous jihadists’ are held.
Qamishli was among the first Kurdish strongholds to be hit by Turkish warplanes and artillery after Erdogan announced the start of Operation Peace Spring Wednesday.
Turkish troops swept into northern Syria not long after in an attempt to create a ‘peace corridor’ some 20 miles wide and 300 miles long along the border.
Turkey says this will allow for the return of some 2million Syrian refugees currently in the country, and possibly another 1million in Europe, if their armed forces are allowed to push further south.
Erdogan also plans to drive ‘terrorists’ away from Turkey’s border, by which he means Kurdish-led forces which allied with the US in the fight against ISIS.
Kurdish commanders said strikes on the prison were a deliberate attempt by Turkey to blow holes in the wall and free the jihadis (pictured, a damaged house in Qamishli)
Kurdish forces say at least four civilians, including Syriac Christians, were hurt in the Turkish bombardment – while video shows bodies lying in the streets (pictured, a damaged home)
However, critics have argued that this will further destabilise the region, lead to civilian deaths and could cause a resurgence in ISIS.
Of particular concern are prisons holding some 10,000 ISIS fighters, wives and children, including 2,500 foreigners.
Under the new plan, Turkey would become responsible for all of these prisoners, effectively placing the future of European security into Erdogan’s hands.
Faced with fierce international opposition to his plan, Erdogan wasted no time in threatening to release 3million Syrian refugees into Europe if leaders oppose him.