23,200 Iraqi citizens who fled from the ISIS-held pocket in the middle Euphrates River Valley are currently taking refuge at the al-Haul camp in the southeastern al-Hasakah countryside, which is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) revealed on January 30.
According to the UK-based mentoring group, the civilians, who are family members of ISIS fighters, are refusing to return to Iraq out of fear that they may get prosecuted for supporting the terrorist group.
“The Majority of Iraqi are afraid to return, they fear the vengeance of the Iraqi government,” the SOHR quoted a creditable source as saying.
Most of these Iraqi refugees escaped ISIS’ last positions in the Euphrates Valley in the last two months. After arresting suspected fighters of the terrorist group, the SDF moved the remaining people to well-controlled camps in al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.
The US-backed group has not clarified its plans for these Iraqi refugees yet. However, it is very likely that they will stay in Syria for the time being. This will pose a serious security threat, especially that many of these refugees are sympathetic with ISIS.