SDF storm notorious Al-Hol camp, arrest residents suspected of IS links
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the associated Asayish internal security forces have stormed the Al-Hol refugee camp in Syria's northeastern province of Al-Hasakah, making a number of arrests.
Informed sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that military and security forces from the SDF and Asayish stormed the third and fourth sectors of the Al-Hol camp early on Friday morning, detaining a number of people and taking them to an unknown location.
The sources said that those detained were suspected of dealings with cells from the Islamic State militant group.
The Al-Hol camp houses an estimated 56,773 displaced people from 15,431 families, most of them from Syria and Iraq and some of them related to IS militants. It is notorious for its violence and the poor conditions refugees live in.
Syrian Kurdish authorities have called on Western countries to repatriate IS-linked individuals living in the camp but these calls have mostly been ignored. An estimated 2,423 families at the camp are related to IS militants, and they come from 60 countries.
Camp authorities say that 28 people were murdered in Al-Hol in 2022, 12 of them Syrian and 14 of them Iraqi, and two of unknown nationality. In addition, 15 people were targets of attempted murder.
The sources said that Friday's arrests happened the day after an Iraqi government delegation visited the camp to register the names of Iraqi refugees willing to return home.
On Tuesday, the Asayish security forces thwarted an attempt by 56 people, all women and children, to escape the camp.