The pinnacle of US Central Command known as for “empathy” in coping with the massive Al Hol refugee camp in north-eastern Syria, whereas defending the Kurdish-led militia who guard the location, saying the camp incorporates ISIS sympathisers.
The Al Hol camp, the place many, principally Arab refugees got here after the defeat of ISIS in 2019, is among the unresolved humanitarian points within the US sphere of affect in Syria.
A lot of the camp’s 56,000 residents are ladies and youngsters from Syria and Iraq. They’re both banned from leaving the camp, the place they reside in squalid situations, or have nowhere else to go.
“The problem is that fifty per cent of the camp are ISIS adherents,” Gen Michael Kurilla advised reporters in Amman.
Gen Kurilla, who visited Al Hol final week, didn’t say how he had reached that conclusion.
He mentioned that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed power in northern Syria dominated by Kurdish militia, was “doing the world a favour” by guarding the camp.
“We have now to have a look at this with empathy as nicely as a result of there isn’t a navy resolution,” mentioned Gen Kurilla, who was visiting Jordan to examine joint workouts between the US Military, Jordan and allied militaries.
The answer, he mentioned, is to “repatriate, rehabilitate and reintegrate” these refugees at Al Hol that may be weaned off ISIS ideology.
He mentioned the Iraqi authorities has taken 700 Iraqi households from the camp however that repatriation must be accelerated.
The US navy introduced final week that an SDF sweep of the camp, supported by American forces, resulted within the arrest of dozens of terrorist operatives and the dissolution of “a serious ISIS facilitation community”.
Gen Kurilla mentioned two SDF members have been killed within the operation.
Most of these dwelling in Al Hol have been de facto prisoners of the camp since 2019, with the SDF suspecting them of being relations of ISIS members.