The Daily Telegraph

25,000 Syr­i­ans to be re­leased from camp for IS sup­port­ers

- By Camp­bell Mac­di­armid Terrorism · Society · Middle East News · Middle East Politics · Politics · ISIS · Ar Raqqah · Iraq · Syria · International Rescue Committee

UP to 25,000 Syr­i­ans are to be re­leased from a de­ten­tion camp for Is­lamic State af­fil­i­ates and their fam­i­lies in a “gen­eral amnesty” aimed at re­liev­ing over­crowd­ing and ap­peas­ing lo­cal Arab com­mu­ni­ties.

All Syr­ian na­tion­als − mostly women

and chil­dren − will be freed from Al Hol camp in Has­sakeh prov­ince, Il­ham Ehmed, the co-chair­man of the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Coun­cil told a pub­lic meet­ing in Raqqa on Satur­day.

The camp is dom­i­nated by the most ex­treme sup­port­ers of Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant, with in­suf­fi­cient guards to pro­vide in­ter­nal se­cu­rity.

Res­i­dents of­ten com­plain about in­suf­fi­cient food, a lack of health­care and have re­ported tent-burn­ings and killings. Be­tween Dec 2018 and July this year, 656 peo­ple died in the camp, mostly chil­dren un­der five, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Res­cue Com­mit­tee.

Ms Ehmed said: “Hol Camp is a heavy bur­den on the shoul­ders of the au­tono

mous ad­min­is­tra­tion of north- east Syria. The AANES is not obliged to pay ex­or­bi­tant sums to pro­vide these peo­ple with food and other things, let alone [deal with] prob­lems that arise daily, in­clud­ing as­sas­si­na­tions, rape, and so on.” The de­ten­tion of Syr­ian women and chil­dren in Al Hol has fu­elled re­sent­ment among Arab com­mu­ni­ties against

the Kur­dish-led au­thor­i­ties who have pre­vi­ously re­leased hun­dreds of male Syr­ian IS af­fil­i­ates said to have “no blood on their hands” and sent them back to their com­mu­ni­ties.

Ms Ehmed said the re­main­ing 30,000 Iraqis and more than 10,000 other for­eign­ers at Al Hol camp will be dealt with “through a rul­ing yet to be re­leased”.

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