Syria: Kurds release 20,000 civilians from ISIS camp

05 October, 12:37

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, 05 OTT - Kurdish-Syrian authorities intend to release over 20,000 Syrian civilians who are related to former ISIS jihadists or who come from areas that have long been dominated by ISIS, said Elham al Ahmad, a member of the Syrian Democratic Council which governs the semi-autonomous Kurdish-Syrian region. The institution manages refugee and detention camps in north-western and eastern Syria. The civilians over the past two years have been held in a refugee camp at the border with Iraq, al Ahmad said.

    The Al Hol camp has been hosting since 2019 tens of thousands of civilians, including Syrians and other nationalities, who have been displaced from areas of the Euphrates valley that ISIS had controlled from 2013 until 2018.

    According to UN estimates, some 25,000 Syrians, 30,000 Iraqis and 10,000 people of other nationalities remain at the camp.

    They are mostly women and children, the wives and children of former jihadists who were killed in action or imprisoned by the Coalition.

    With difficult hygienic and sanitary conditions and in a context of strong social tension, the Al Hol camp has been described by many as a ''hotbed of radicalization'' and as the ''last stronghold of ISIS'' in Syria.

    ISIS was defeated by the US-led international Coalition which includes Kurdish-Syrian fighters. The Kurdish-Syrian political administration, which dominates eastern and northwestern Syria, has long asked the international community to take charge of the expenses to run the Al Hol camp.

    ''The Syrian democratic council and the (Kurdish-Syrian) autonomous administration have decided to completely empty the camp of Syrians, only leaving foreigners'', al Ahmad was quoted as saying by media reports on Monday.

    Previously, small groups of Syrians were released after a series of agreements between the Kurdish administration and Arab tribal clans of northeastern and eastern Syria, from which hail the great majority of Syrians held since 2019 in Al Hol.


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