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The Kurdish-led forces controlling northeast Syria on Thursday freed more than 600 Syrian prisoners detained over links to the Islamic State jihadist group.
The 631 detainees had been held on terrorism charges and were the first batch released in an amnesty deal announced recently following calls from Arab tribes in eastern Syria.
The Kurdish administration in northeast Syria hold tens of thousands of people suspected of links to IS and their relatives, most of them Syrians and Iraqis.
It also holds hundreds of foreigners, whose fate has been a diplomatic hot potato and who are not included in the latest amnesty deal.
“All those who were freed are Syrians,” Amina Omar, co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, one of the autonomous administration’s top bodies, said at a news conference in the town of Qamishli.
Those who were freed on Thursday have served at least half of their sentence and were found to have no blood on their hands, she said.
The releases came after repeated calls from the Arab tribes that dominate much of the region administered by the Kurds, including the areas near the Iraqi border where IS made its bloody last stand in 2019.
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