The series of earthquakes in southwestern Turkey allowed a group of 20 imprisoned ISIS fighters to mutiny and escape a prison operated by pro-Turkish militants in northern Syria.
The prison near the Turkish border in Rajo, Syria, holds 2,100 militants. Of these, about 1,300 are suspected to be jihadi fighters affiliated with ISIS, according to Agence France-Presse
The earthquakes that struck Monday, both the 7.8 magnitudes initial tremor and the 7.5 magnitude aftershock, disrupted the Rajo prison, cracking walls as well as doors.
“After the earthquake struck, Rajo was affected and inmates started to mutiny and took control of parts of the prison. About 20 prisoners fled who are believed to be,” ISIS members, an unnamed prison official told the news service.
The prison also holds operatives of American-backed Kurdish factions in northeastern Syria.
The Turkish government considers Kurdish forces in Syria to be a terrorist group because of the long-standing affiliations it has with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which itself is considered a terror group by both the U.S. and Turkey.