IS moves prisoners as forces advance on Raqqa

Damascus, Jan 6 (IANS) The Islamic State (IS) terror group has moved more than 150 prisoners as an Arab-Kurdish coalition advances on its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, a war monitoring group said on Friday.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the captives were transferred from the al-Tabqa prison in Raqqa, located 450 km to the northeast of Damascus, Efe news reported.

A majority of the prisoners are Kurds captured in combat during clashes in the region.

The SOHR added that their new location was unknown, although a large number are believed to have been moved to the Maaden area.

The prisoner transfer comes as the IS is losing ground in the al-Tabqa area, where the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed coalition made up of Kurds and Arabs, have taken the old citadel of Qalaat Jabaar.

Raqqa became the capital of the IS’ self-proclaimed “caliphate” in June 2014.