October 2, 2022
US urges countries to return their citizens from Syria's al-Hol camp

US urges countries to return their citizens from Syria’s al-Hol camp

Photo: Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

Gen. Michael Guerrilla, head of the US military’s Middle East Command, on Monday urged countries with civilians stranded in Syria’s al-Hole camp to return home.

Al Hole Camp, located in northeastern Syria, is home to family members of jihadist fighters run by the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (FDS).

Thousands of people live in rural areas after being captured or fleeing an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) group’s last stronghold in 2019.

“The camp currently houses about 54,000 people, of whom 27,000 are Iraqis, which is half of its population; and about 18,000 Syrians, as well as 8,500 foreigners (who are neither Syrians nor Iraqis),” said the head of the CENTCOM command. of America.

According to the UN, half of the rural population is under the age of 18.

Despite warnings from international organizations that the situation there is “catastrophic”, most countries refuse to repatriate their citizens from Al Hol.

“Fifty percent of the people in the camp are heirs to the base ideology of ISIS. The rest are people who have nowhere to go and want to return home,” the guerrilla told a press conference at the US embassy. In Amman.

“I encourage all countries with citizens stranded in rural areas to repatriate and reintegrate them (into society),” the general stressed.

“As there is no military solution to this issue, we have to approach this issue sympathetically,” he added.

The guerrillas also announced that the “repatriation of Iraqi IS prisoners and fighters” was underway.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), the semi-autonomous Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria recently transferred nearly 700 Iraqis linked to IS.