SOHR: Sixth killing in al-Hol camp in May • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR: Sixth killing in al-Hol camp in May


An Iraqi woman was found dead in the notorious al-Hol camp in northeast Syria (Rojava), a conflict monitor reported on Monday, marking the sixth killing in the camp since the beginning of the month.

The body of the Iraqi woman was found by Rojava’s internal security forces (Asayish) in a valley located between section one and section two of al-Hol camp on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. Cells of the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to carry out activities inside the camp, and the woman’s death marks the camp’s sixth incident of killing since the beginning of the month, according to SOHR.

The woman, whose name has not been revealed, was reportedly found decapitated and handcuffed, with her body displaying marks of severe torture. The marks suggest that she was killed days before her body was found, according to the local North Press Agency (NPA), who also reported that the perpetrator and reason for the killing are yet to be established.

There have been around 18 killings of Syrian and Iraqi refugees since the beginning of the year, according to NPA. A Syrian refugee was shot dead in a sewage system inside the camp on Wednesday, SOHR reported.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested thousands of ISIS fighters along with 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 and Roj camps.

Al-Hol has infamously been branded a breeding ground for terrorism, with Kurdish and Iraqi authorities describing the sprawling camp as a “ticking time bomb,” calling the situation in the camp “very dangerous.”

The camp reported 73 crimes that led to the death of 79 people, including security members, in the first eleven months of 2021, according to SOHR.

However, a media outlet affiliated with the Kurdish authorities in Rojava raised the toll to 126 crimes during that year, marking 2021 as “the deadliest” at the camp.

There have been repeated calls from Kurdish and US officials to the international community to repatriate their nationals from al-Hol, but only a few countries have responded positively, with others including the United Kingdom continuing to cite security concerns.

In January, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimated the population of the camp to be 56,000, more than half of whom under the age of 18.