When a CBS News reporter visited a Syrian prison, crowded with captured members of ISIS, she found that several of them claimed to be Americans who had joined ISIS for misguided reasons.
The prison in the northeastern part of Syria is run by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed militia group made up mostly Kurdish fighters. The SDF and other rebel groups have been fighting ISIS and the Syrian dictatorship for years.
In addition, the Kurds live under a constant threat of imminent attack from the Turkish government, which views them as terrorists. Some of these Turkish attacks have forced the Kurds to pull their forces back from fighting ISIS in order to safeguard their homes and families.
The Kurds have been holding captured Islamic State fighters in prisons but are running out of space. According to CBS News, this particular prison holds roughly 5,000 prisoners. Overall, the SDF is holding about 12,000 ISIS prisoners. Nearly half of these prisoners are thought to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS from other nations.
In many cases, the countries from which these fighters claim to have come do not want to deal with these former ISIS fighters returning and, in most cases, having to be imprisoned. The SDF has asked these countries to, at the very least, help fund the cost of maintaining the prisons. – READ MORE