"Al-Hawl mini-state" in January 2021 | 13 people killed by ISIS affiliates, and the camp's administration releases nearly 100 families • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Al-Hawl mini-state” in January 2021 | 13 people killed by ISIS affiliates, and the camp’s administration releases nearly 100 families

The successive incidents at Al-Hawl camp in the far south-east region of Al-Hasakah are now a clear sign of the chaos recently unleashed by the Islamic State in Syria. Al-Hawl refugee camp has become more like a “mini-state” hosting ISIS-affiliated members and families. A true crisis that most countries of the world still ignore in order to avoid repatriating their unwanted citizens who joined the notorious organization. Chaos and lack of security are prevalent within the camp, turning it into a “ticking bomb” that cannot be ignored.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) tracked and monitored the key developments in the camp in January 2021.


SOHR activists managed to document 13 murders in Al-Hawl camp in January, all carried out by ISIS affiliates, including male and female extremists. The breakdown of fatalities was as follows:


  • Nine Iraqi refugees, including a child and three women.


  • Three Syrian people, including one woman and the head of the “Syrian Council” in the camp.


  • A member of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish).


Also, a gunman of a cell responsible for assassinations and murders in the camp was killed, when he blew himself up with a grenade just after he had been caught by an Asayish patrol which was pursuing him.


On the other hand, SDF continue their attempts to put an end to the smuggling operations and the widespread corruption in Al-Hawl camp through frequent security campaigns, as SOHR sources reported on January 25 that a military group of Syria Democratic Forces, backed by International Coalition Forces, stormed a house in Tel Hamis area in the north-eastern countryside of Al-Hasakah, arresting a person working as a “smuggler” in Al-Hawl camp in the south-east of Al-Hasakah. The person was in contact with ISIS cells which operated in the region and were responsible for periodical murders in the camp.


Moreover, the camp’s administration released 98 Syrian families in January as a part of the initiative by Syria Democratic Council “SDC” to evacuate the Syrians from the camp. It is worth noting that these families left Al-Hawl camp in two separate batches, as the first batch, which comprised 31 families of more than 99 people mostly from Al-Hasakah city and countryside, left the camp on January 19. While the second batch left on January 28, and it comprised 67 families of nearly 236 people from Manbij city and countryside in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.


Furthermore, the Department of Foreign Relations of the Autonomous Administration of northern and eastern Syria handed over seven French orphans of ISIS families to representatives of France’s government, after signing a document between both sides, on January 12, during the French delegation’s visit to the Department of Foreign Relations’ headquarters in Al-Qamishli city.


The Syrian Observatory renews its appeal to the international community for a solution to “Al Hawl mini-state” crisis, which is considered a clear and present danger to everyone. We, at the Syrian Observatory, once more renew our call to the UN Security Council, all organizations concerned and countries that claim to respect and champion human rights globally to act immediately to stop the crimes and violations committed against the Syrian people by the Islamic State and many other active actors on the ground, and to establish appropriate courts for prosecuting the perpetrators. We call on all those countries that have citizens in Al-Hawl camp to find a solution for those individuals and face up to their responsibility.

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