“Al-Hawl mini-state” in November 2021 | Murders return, and nearly 70 families leave the camp under SDC initiative • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Al-Hawl mini-state” in November 2021 | Murders return, and nearly 70 families leave the camp under SDC initiative

The successive incidents at Al-Hawl camp in the far south-east region of Al-Hasakah are now an unrefuted evidence 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 November 2021.

SOHR activists could document five murders committed by ISIS cells in Al-Hawl camp in November 2021, which left five Iraqi people dead, including a woman and the chairman of Iraqi refugees’ council. The victims were killed in the first, third and fifth sections of the camp

It is worth noting that the number of murders committed in Al-Hawl camp since the end of the first phase of the large-scale security campaign has reached 36, which indicates to alarming escalation of killings in the camp.

Accordingly, the number of murders documented by SOHR in Al-Hawl camp since the beginning of 2021 has risen to 75, 13 murders in January, ten in February, 17 in March, one in April, six in May, six in June, six in July, eight in August, three in September and five in November. These murders have left 80 people dead, and the breakdown of fatalities in the past seven months was as follows:

  • Two members of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish).

  • 60 Iraqi refugees, including three children and 17 women.

  • 18 Syrian people, including two children, five woman and the head of the “Syrian Council” in the camp.

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


After the return of murders in Al-Hawl camp, where no murders were documented in October, Internal Security Forces “Asayish” imposed curfew in the camp and stormed the first, second and third sections on November 21, arresting 14 Iraqi people including a woman. Some of the arrested people acknowledged of involving in, murders, chaos and the attack on a post of Asayish Forces in the camp. In late November, Asayish Forces also stormed the camp’s fifth section specified for Syrian displaced people, where they found light and medium machineguns.


In November 2021, nearly 67 families of about 260 people from Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor provinces were evacuated from the camp as a part of the initiative by “Syrian Democratic Council” (SDC) to evacuate Syrians from Al-Hawl camp.


These families left the camp in two batches, as 48 families of 194 people from Deir Ezzor province left on November 7. It is worth noting that this batch was supposed to be evacuated on October 21, but there were enough vehicles to transport all families planned to evacuate at that time with their luggage. This batch remained in the reception centre until it was evacuated in November 7.


While the second batch was evacuated on November 24, and it comprised 19 families of nearly 65 people, mostly from Al-Hasakah province.


Accordingly, 729 Syrian families have left al-Hawl camp since the beginning of 2021 as follows:

  • In January: 98 families

  • In February: 105 families

  • In March: 125 families

  • In May: 83 families

  • In June: 59 families

  • In July: 82 families

  • In September: 92 families

  • In October: 18 families

  • In November: 67 families

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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