The United States views the uprisings in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controlled prisons in eastern Syria and across Syria with concern, said Commander of U.S. Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie during a press briefing.

“We believe the best way to reduce the population of those prisons, in all cases, is repatriation, and we fully support repatriation and we’re working with a variety of nations to make – to achieve that goal. That’s a slow process but we believe that is clearly the best path going forward” said General Kenneth McKenzie.

The US-led coalition no longer directly supports the SDF’s prisons but will continue to “try to help the SDF indirectly in any way we can,” McKenzie said Tuesday.

He addressed concerns about the spread of coronavirus in these jails or future attempts at a prison escapes.

“Absolutely we are. We don’t believe it is a problem now, but because of close living conditions, it presents a problem. I would also say it presents a serious problem in the various IDP camps, the internally displaced person camps, across Syria, and we are very concerned with that as well,” he added.

McKenzie is currently on a tour of the Middle East and has met with regional officials, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, and Kuwait, and visited U.S. troops in eastern and southern Syria.

He asserted that the United States and its partners will maintain relentless pressure against al-Qaida and ISIS, and we will continue to work against them very aggressively.​