US-backed Kurdish forces arrest 300 ISIS fighters in raid operation on al-Hol camp

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Kurdish forces in Syria have evacuated 300 ISIS fighters from al-Hol refugee camp as part of an ongoing operation to eliminate the the presence and influence of the terrorist group In the region.

“ISIS preys on the weak and disenfranchised and tries to exploit the conditions in the camp to help regenerate its forces,” said Major General Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command ( CENTCOM). “The situation in al-Hol is an international crisis that requires an international solution, and the only permanent solution is the repatriation, rehabilitation and reintegration of camp residents.”

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The 24-day operation concluded with clearingwhich also resulted in the rescue of six women who ISIS fighters had chained and tortured – one of whom had remained in their custody since 2014 when she was nine years old.

FILE - Children gather outside their tents at al-Hol camp, home to families of Islamic State group operatives, in Syria's Hasakeh province May 1, 2021. Syrian fighters backed by the United States said on Saturday, September 1, 2021 On February 17, 2022, they concluded a 24-day search operation in a sprawling camp in northeastern Syria housing tens of thousands of women and children linked to the Islamic State group.

FILE – Children gather outside their tents at al-Hol camp, home to families of Islamic State group operatives, in Syria’s Hasakeh province May 1, 2021. Syrian fighters backed by the United States said on Saturday, September 1, 2021 On February 17, 2022, they concluded a 24-day search operation in a sprawling camp in northeastern Syria housing tens of thousands of women and children linked to the Islamic State group.
(AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad, File)

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) carried out the operation with the support of CENTCOM by sharing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

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“During the 24-day clearance operation, the SDF arrested around 300 ISIS operatives, confiscated 25 kilograms of explosives and 25 hand grenades, and removed the camp’s supplies and logistical equipment from the camp. ‘Islamic State,’ CENTCOM said in a statement on Sunday.

The head of CENTCOM, General.  Erik Kurilla consults with al-Hol camp officials.

The head of CENTCOM, General. Erik Kurilla consults with al-Hol camp officials.
(CENTCOM)

On September 8, two SDF operatives were killed in engagements with ISIS fighters in the camp during the operation, the statement added.

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CENTCOM focused on the 60,000-person camp with an operation that began on August 28. 25. Kurilla visited the camp last week and warned that the conditions made it an ideal target for the Islamic State to “spread their despicable ideology”.

FILE - Women talk to guards at the gate that closes off the section reserved for foreign families who lived in the so-called Islamic State caliphate, at Al-Hol camp in Hasakeh province, Syria, 31 March 2019. US-backed Syrian fighters said Saturday Sept. On February 17, 2022, they concluded a 24-day search operation in a sprawling camp in northeast Syria housing tens of thousands of women and children linked to the Islamic State group.

FILE – Women talk to guards at the gate that closes off the section reserved for foreign families who lived in the so-called Islamic State caliphate, at Al-Hol camp in Hasakeh province, Syria, 31 March 2019. US-backed Syrian fighters said Saturday Sept. On February 17, 2022, they concluded a 24-day search operation in a sprawling camp in northeast Syria housing tens of thousands of women and children linked to the Islamic State group.
(AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

“Most residents seek to escape ISIS, but ISIS views the camp as a captive audience for its message and recruitment efforts,” Kurilla said. “It is therefore urgent that we repatriate the residents to their countries of origin and rehabilitate them if necessary.”

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The al-Hol camp is Syria’s largest refugee camp, with children making up more than half of the camp’s population, according to The Washington Post. The extremists in the camp had would have killed 44 of its inhabitants and aid workers.