IS militants have released more than 200 members of the Yazidi religios community that were being held in northern Iraq, Kurdish security officials have said. Many of the prisoners were in poor health and had signs of abuse. 40 children were among those frees while most of the rest were elderly. Meanwhile troops in Iraq said that had been gaining ground in a fresh offensive against IS in the western province of Anbar. Military sources said the insurgents were trading mortar fire with government forces in the Sijariya area, east of the region's capital Ramadi, where IS has been dominant. An air strike by a US-led coalition is reported to have hit militants who were trying to flee by boat on a river. No reason has been given for the release of the Yazidi prisoners, who were originally abducted by IS from the area around Sinjar last August.
The fighting between Iraqi forces and IS has been going on constantly though the media is no longer focusing on it. The Iraqi forces have been gaining ground as stated in the summary above. IS has taken many prisons and also killed many. With them losing ground against Iraqi forces the prisoners being set free could possibly mean that they didn't have the man power to control them or care for them. The prisoners that were freed depending on how they were treated might have more of a dislike towards IS. This could further more hurt IS and its reputation.