Hundreds of ISIS relatives leave Syria’s al-Hol camp
Scores of women and children related to ISIS militants carried their belongings and boarded buses and trucks Monday, leaving the overcrowded al-Hol camp in the country’s northeast to return to their homes.
A total of 800 Syrian women and children left the camp in Hasakeh province Monday afternoon, according to Syrian Kurdish official Badran Ciya Kurd and witnesses.
At least 17 buses were seen leaving the area.
The departure is the largest since the extremist organization’s territorial defeat in Syria in March, when the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured Baghouz, the last village controlled by the militants near the Iraqi border.
The SDF-controlled al-Hol camp, which was initially built to house up to 10,000 displaced people, is now home to over 73,000. Ninety-two percent of them are women and children and 15 percent, or at least 11,000, are foreign nationals, according to the United Nations.
Reducing the population of al-Hol will help ease the burden on aid groups that have been overwhelmed with the flow of people in the past months.
At the height of its power, ISIS controlled nearly a third of Syria and large parts of Iraq, an area where millions of people had lived.
At a conference in early May in northern Syria, tribal leaders called for the release of those being detained in the camps who have no blood on their hands. Tribal leaders have promised to hand over any person of those who left in the camp if they carry out any ISIS-related activities.