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anti-ISIS operation in Al-Hol camp, dozens of arrests

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                The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) reports that Kurdish forces in Syria launched a security operation on Sunday in the Al-Hol displaced persons camp, recently shaken by serial killings.  Dozens of people suspected of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group were arrested.

                                    <p>The intervention was triggered at dawn.  Supported by the Kurdish militia of the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the local police, the Syrian Democratic Forces launched search operations against the Islamic State organization in the Al-Hol displaced persons camp and the adjoining village. 

« More than thirty women and men were arrested “Rami Abdel Rahmane, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP, adding that” arrests continue “. Those arrested are suspected of supporting the terrorist group.

“To hinder the activities of Daesh”

Two media officials from the Syrian Democratic Forces, dominated by Kurdish fighters, confirmed the operation. One assured that it was to last at least ten days, the other that it took place in cooperation with the international anti-IS coalition.

The objective is ” obstruct Daesh activities in the camp to ensure the safety of its residents “, Spokesman for the international coalition, Colonel Wayne Marotto, told AFP. He spoke of support for “ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance “, For this operation also intended to strengthen security in order to allow NGOs to provide” essential aids ” at the camp.

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Read also: In the al-Hol camp a smell of rot hangs in the air

Located in northeastern Syria, the Al-Hol camp has become a veritable tent city hosting nearly 62,000 people, 93% of whom are women and children according to the UN, which has repeatedly put warning against a deterioration of the security situation.

At least 40 dead since January

At least 40 people have been killed there since the start of the year, according to OSDH. Al-Hol welcomes Syrian and Iraqi families, but also foreigners from Europe or Asia with their children. The camp has been rocked by several incidents sometimes involving IS supporters, including escape attempts and attacks on guards or NGO workers. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) had also announced in early March the temporary suspension of its activities in Al-Hol, after the death of one of its employees who lived in the camp with his family.

Kurdish officials point to IS cells for the killings, but a humanitarian source also spoke of tribal tensions.

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Spearheading the fight against ISIS in Syria, the SDF backed by Washington announced on March 23, 2019 the fall of the “caliphate” of the Islamic State organization, with the conquest of the last jihadist stronghold of Baghouz after deadly and devastating battles.

Also to listen: Voyage to the end of the “caliphate”

But two years later the jihadist group again launched deadly attacks in the vast Syrian desert, targeting Kurdish forces such as the army of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.


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