“Al-Hawl mini-state” in June 2022 | Seven murders by ISIS cells and affiliates and over 15 arrests by security forces • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Al-Hawl mini-state” in June 2022 | Seven murders by ISIS cells and affiliates and over 15 arrests by security forces

SOHR renews its appeal to the international community to find an immediate and lasting solution for Al-Hawl camp's crisis and urges putting a serious plan for rehabilitating the camp’s children and women

The successive incidents at Al-Hawl camp in the far south-east region of Al-Hasakah are now 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 unwelcome citizens who joined the notorious organisation. 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) has tracked and monitored the key developments in the camp in June 2022, where murders returned to the camp in the wake of re-escalating activity by ISIS cells and affiliates after two months since the last murder was documented, despite the periodical security campaigns by security forces in charge of the camp.


SOHR documented seven murders in Al-Hawl camp in June 2022, which left eight people dead:


  • Four displaced Syrian women.


  • Three unidentified women.


  • An unidentified man.


Accordingly, the number of murders documented in the camp since early 2022 has risen to 23, which left 24 people dead; and they are as follows:


  • Six Iraqi refugees, including two women.


  • Nine Syrian people: Two men and seven women.


  • Seven unidentified women.


  • A medic was killed in the post where he worked in the camp.


  • An unidentified man.



Key developments in Al-Hawl camp in June


Security forces in Al-Hawl camp carried out several security campaigns during June, arresting 16 persons, mostly women of families of ISIS members.


In late June, foreign ISIS women held a banquet in “Al-Hawl mini-state” in the far south-eastern countryside of Al-Hasakah. It is believed that the banquet was held in the migrant women’s section. A leaked video shows 20 to 30 women of families of ISIS members having a dialogue, placing banners of the organisation and speaking in a foreign language. Accordingly, the military forces arrested several women who organised that meeting.


On June 1, Iraqi families left Al-Hawl camp in Al-Hasakah countryside in cars, heading towards Iraqi territory through “Al-Faw” crossing under heavy guard by security forces, as a part of the third batch of evacuated Iraqi refugees from the camp in 2022. This batch comprised 152 families of nearly 700 people, including women, children, and men, who have Iraqi IDs. This took place in coordination between Al-Hawl camp’s administration on one hand, and the Security Committee and Migration Committee in the Iraqi Parliament on the other.


Accordingly, the number of batches of Iraqi refugees who were transported from Syria to Iraq rose to four: three batches were evacuated from Al-Hawl camp and one batch comprised Iraqi refugees who lived in northern and eastern Syria.


On the other hand, SOHR documented no more batches of Syrian families leaving Al-Hawl camp under the SDC initiative in June. However, in January 2022, 22 families of nearly 217 people left the camp as a part of the initiative by “Syrian Democratic Council” (SDC) to evacuate Syrians from Al-Hawl camp, where these families were transported to Deir Ezzor province.


We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), renew our appeal to the international community to find a lasting solution to “Al-Hawl mini-state” crisis, which is considered a clear and present danger to everyone. We also urge international human rights organisations to put an immediate and serious plan for rehabilitating women and children in the camp, who were saturated with ISIS ideology, especially with a large number of children and the widespread presence of the group cells in the camp that continue to impart their poisonous ideas to the residents of the camp, particularly women and children.