BEIRUT (AP) – Clashes between Syrian Kurdish fighters and members of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group killed at least three people inside a restive camp in northeastern Syria that houses IS families, local Kurdish authorities and an opposition war monitor said on Tuesday.
The clashes broke out late on Monday night at al-Hol in Syria’s province of Hassakeh, when Kurdish fighters exchanged fire with an IS sleeper cell, according to head of the Kurdish-led administration’s department for refugees and displaced Shixmus Ehmed. He spoke to the Associated Press via voice messages on Tuesday.
The fighting involved pistols, automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, he said, adding that the situation remains tense.
The sprawling al-Hol camp has for years held tens of thousands of women and children – mostly wives, widows and children of IS members.
The Kurdish police force, known as Asayish, said its members were attacked and fired back, killing an IS member and wounding others. It said police were careful during the clashes because IS fighters had hidden themselves among civilians.
Following the clashes, the Kurdish fighters surrounded the area to prevent any IS gunmen from escaping, Ehmed said, without giving a breakdown for the casualties.