MADRID, Sep. 10 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The United States has warned that the Al Hol displaced persons camp, located in northeastern Syria, is “a breeding ground for the next generation of Islamic State” and has highlighted that the jihadist group “seeks to exploit the horrible conditions” existing on site.
General Michael Kurilla, of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), has highlighted that “approximately 70 percent of the population is under the age of twelve” and has argued that “these young people are vulnerable to radicalization, given the poor quality of life they have”.
Kurilla, who has conveyed his condolences to the relatives of two members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) killed on Thursday in a clash with the Islamic State inside Al Hol, has denounced that the jihadists “keep women and girls as chained slaves inside of the camp.”
Likewise, he has stated that the group “tortures residents and seeks to spread its vile ideology”, while arguing that “most residents try to escape from the Islamic State, but the Islamic State sees the camp as a captive audience for its message. and their recruiting efforts.
“It is urgent to repatriate the residents to their countries of origin and rehabilitate them, if they need it,” said Kurilla, who has defended the need to work with the SDF – whose main member is the Kurdish-Syrian militia Popular Protection Units ( YPG)– to “ensure the lasting defeat of the Islamic State”.
Along these lines, he reiterated that the camp represents “a real threat to the region, as well as a humanitarian catastrophe”, before detailing that “more than 90 percent” of the 56,000 residents of the facilities are women and children who live in tents.
“Most residents reject ISIS. Many want to contribute to society. Many want to return to their homeland, rejoin the workforce and return their children to school,” he said.
Kirilla pointed out that “there is no military solution to the threat posed by the Al Hol camp” and explained that “the most lasting solution is for the countries of origin to repatriate, rehabilitate and reintegrate their citizens”.
In this way, he recalled that “approximately half of the residents of Al Hol are originally from Iraq” and applauded the “real progress shown by the Iraqi authorities in repatriating their citizens”, although he stressed that it is necessary to “accelerate” these processes.
“If Iraq repatriates, rehabilitates and reintegrates its citizens, the problem will become much more manageable,” he argued, while reiterating his warnings that the situation is “an imminent catastrophe that requires an international solution.” “For this, it is necessary for the global community to analyze this problem with empathy,” she stressed.
The Syrian Democratic Council (CDS) -political arm of the SDF- and the Autonomous Administration for North and East Syria (AANES) have been asking for years for help to control the situation in the Al Hol camp and other similar camps after the fall of the Islamic State ‘caliphate’, both for humanitarian and security reasons.
Source: Europa Press