Up to 25000 Syrians to be released from camp for Islamic State terrorists
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: syria;
Up to 25,000 Syrians — mostly women and children — are to be released from a detention camp for Islamic State affiliates and their families in a “general amnesty” aimed at relieving overcrowding and appeasing local Arab communities, a Kurdish official said on Monday.
The sprawling and overpopulated al-Hawl camp in northern Syria is home to some 65,000 people and has been a burden to the Kurdish-led US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and Kurdish police who are in charge of security at the facility.
Crime rates have been high inside the camp and some of the women have tried to escape.
“A decision will be taken to empty Syrians from the camp completely,” said Ilham Ahmed, president of the executive committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, the self-administration body in north-east Syria in a video released on social media. He did not say when they would be released.
The camp is dominated by the most extreme supporters of IS, with insufficient guards to provide internal security. Residents often complain about lack of food and healthcare, and have reported killings and tent burnings. Between December 2018 and July this year, 656 people died in the camp, mostly children under five, according to the International Rescue Committee.
On Saturday Ahmed told a community meeting: “Hawl Camp is a heavy burden on the shoulders of the autonomous administration of north-east Syria [AANES]. The AANES is not obliged to pay exorbitant sums to provide these people with food and other things, let alone [deal with] problems that arise daily, including assassinations, rape, and so on.”
The detention of Syrian women and children in the camp has fuelled resentment among Arab communities against the Kurdish-led authorities who have previously released hundreds of male Syrian IS affiliates said to have “no blood on their hands”, and sent them back to their communities.
Ahmed said those who remain in the camp would not be the responsibility of the self-administration.
The remaining 30,000 Iraqis and more than 10,000 other foreigners at the camp would be dealt with “through a ruling yet to be released”.
IS controlled large parts of Iraq and Syria starting mid-2014 and during that period thousands of men and women brought their children and came to settle in the self-declared caliphate.