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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

COVID: Syrian Facilities Holding IS Prisoners Receive Needed Supplies

By VOA News April 26, 2020

U.S.-led coalition forces delivered much-needed medical and sanitation supplies to detention facilities in Syria holding 10,000 Islamic State prisoners, the coalition said Sunday.

"Given the circumstances, staff at the detention facilities face an almost impossible task of applying precautionary measures to counter COVID-19," a statement from the joint taskforce read Sunday.

The supplies will support the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces who are holding the captured IS fighters.

"The supplies given to the SDF will help protect the guards at the facilities, who detain thousands of foreign terrorist fighters, which is one step of a larger plan to ensure guards and detainees are at a minimum risk of contracting the virus," it went on.

The supplies included soap, disinfectant, cloth masks, and gloves.

Already, the U.S. has sent $1.2 million in medical supplies and other assistance to the SDF, hoping that will help mitigate the spread of the virus and also reinforce security at a series of prisons holding thousands captured IS fighters.

But statements from the SDF's politial wing, the Syrian Democratic Council, had said the supplies were not enough and were slow to arrive.

Sunday's statement from the joint taskforce did not specify how many supplies were delivered last week.

Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

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