The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which holds more than 1,000 Islamic State (IS) prisoners, is ready to hand over them to their home nations, but the majority of the nations are not in hurry to take them, an official representative of Syrian Kurds in Moscow, Rshad Bienaf, told RIA Novosti.

“SDF now holds more than 1,000 IS prisoners, who came to Syria from 40 counties of the world.  There are also citizens of the CIS nations, including Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, among them,” Bienaf was quoted as saying.  

Some international media reports say that the SDF, the Kurdish-led militia fighting the Islamic State (IS) terror group in eastern Syria, is known to hold large numbers of Islamic State prisoners, detaining fighters in about seven makeshift prisons near Ainissa in northern Syria, where the Kurdish group has its headquarters.  Relatives of Islamic State members are held in a detention camp nearby.

Meanwhile, an official source at the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Tajikistan says the Tajik authorities have not received such an appeal from the Syrian Democratic Forces. 

Recall, the then first deputy chief of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS) of Tajikistan, Mansourjon Umarov, speaking at parliamentarian hearings in November last year, noted that 1,899 nationals of Tajikistan, with nearly 600 of them being residents of Dushanbe and Hisor Valley (central Tajikistan), have been fighting alongside IS militants:   


  • Dushanbe – 239 people;
  • Districts subordinate to the center (RRP) – 328 people, including 128 people from Vahdat Township, 39 people from Tursunzoda, 107 people from Roudaki district and 54 people from Shahrinav district;
  • The Bokhtar (Qurghon Teppa) zone of Khatlon province – 253 people, including 67 people from Kushoniyon (formerly Bokhtar) district, 74 people from Qubodiyon district, 76 from people from Shahritous district, and 36 people from Balkhi (formerly Rumi) district;
  • The Kulob zone of Khatlon province – 138 people, including 99 people from the city of Kulob and 37 people from Farkhor district;
  • Sughd province – 264 people, including 111 people from Isfara, 84 people from Istaravshan, 12 people from Buston, 22 people from Konibodom and 35 people from Spitamen district;  
  • The Gorno Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO) – 37 people; all of them are residents of Vanj district.


The Syrian Democratic Forces, commonly abbreviated as SDF, is an alliance of Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian/Syriac militias, as well as some smaller Turkmen and Chechen participation in the Syrian Civil War.  The SDF is militarily led by the People's Protection Units (YPG), a mostly Kurdish militia.  Founded in October 2015, the SDF states its mission as fighting to create a secular, democratic and federal Syria.  The updated December 2016 constitution of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria names the SDF as its official defense force.

The primary opponents of the SDF are the various Islamist and Arab nationalist rebel groups involved in the civil war, in particular the Islamic State group, Turkey-backed Syrian opposition groups, al-Qaeda affiliates, and their allies.  The SDF has focused primarily on IS militants, successfully driving them from important strategic areas, such as Al-Hawl, Shaddadi, Tishrin Dam, Manbij, al-Tabqah, Tabqa Dam, Baath Dam, and IS's former capital of Raqqa.