Turkish offensive, U.S. withdrawal reportedly allows hundreds of ISIS supporters to escape Syrian camp

Tim O'Donnell

Hundreds of people with suspected links to the Islamic State reportedly escaped from a camp for displaced people near a U.S.-coalition base in northern Syria on Sunday amid a Turkish military offensive and a simultaneous U.S. troop withdrawal from the region, Syrian Kurdish officials said.

The camp is home to about 12,000 people, including around 1,000 wives and widows of ISIS fighters and their children. The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria said in a statement that more than 700 ISIS supporters escaped as clashes broke out between Syrian fighters backed by Turkey and Kurdish forces, though news sources were not immediately able to confirm that number. The remaining inhabitants of the camp are reportedly being evacuated by U.S. forces to another area, The Guardian reports.

U.S. troops stationed at bases to the west of the camp said they came under Turkish artillery fire Friday night, in what some suspect was a deliberate attempt to drive them away from the bulk of U.S. forces further east. Read more at The Associated Press and The Washington Post.