SOHR: Over 200 ISIS-affiliated people leave al-Hol camp • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR: Over 200 ISIS-affiliated people leave al-Hol camp

A total of 53 families from Deir ez-Zor, numbering 217 individuals affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS) left al-Hol camp in northeast Syria (Rojava) on Sunday, and returned to their areas of origin, marking the 22nd batch of its kind that has been removed from the notorious camp since October 2020.

Ali Mohammed, 72, who had been put in the al-Hol camp since 2018, returned home on Sunday.

Mohammed was acting as a preacher within the ranks of ISIS and seven of his cousins who also had links within the organization were killed during clashes with Kurdish forces and campaigns of the counter-ISIS coalition in the north and east of the country

Mohammed claims he is not an extremist, nor is he linked to any radical ideology, but that all he wants is a peaceful life at home.

“I am a Muslim. I am not associated with any organizations or armed groups,” Ali Mohammed, an elderly former ISIS member, told Rudaw as he was preparing to live the camp along with his family to Deir ez-Zor’s outlying village of Diblane.

Camp authorities say that in coordination with local officials in Deir ez-Zor, they will monitor the behavior of the returnees.

Sheikhmus Ahmed, the supervisor of the administration of Rojava’s IDP and refugee camps, calls on the international community to help ease the burden on their shoulders to help return European and other western nationals to their home countries.

“Since the beginning of this year, there have been murdering cases inside the camp against health and humanitarian organization workers,” Ahmed said, adding that they are “calling on the international community to help purge ISIS cells, and help remove people from the camp.”

Over the weekend, the Kurdish Red Crescent announced the murdering of a staff member from a gunshot wound “while carrying out his humanitarian duties” inside the camp, with the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting that the aid worker was killed after two ISIS members entered the camp’s medical center.

Al-Hol has been branded a breeding ground for terrorism. The camp’s internal security forces (Asayish) in late November, arrested 14 Iraqis that “confessed to killings, chaos, raiding reception centers and targeting internal security forces” inside the camp.

There have been repeated calls from Kurdish and US officials asking the international community to repatriate their nationals from al-Hol, but only a few countries have responded positively as they are worried about security concerns.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested thousands of ISIS fighters and their wives and children when they took control of the group’s last stronghold in Syria in March 2019. Most of these people are held at al-Hol, which is home to more than 60,000 people – mostly women and children of different nationalities.

Last week, another group of 111 families arrived in Iraq and were transferred to al-Jada camp in Nineveh province. Mainly under federal Iraqi control, al-Jada houses families with suspected links to ISIS.





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