On April 2, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) concluded the first phase of their large-scale security-humanitarian operation in the notorious al-Hawl camp in northeastern Syria.
The operation that was launched on March 28 is meant to secure the camp, which is located in the eastern al-Hasakah countryside. Around 60,000 people, including relatives of ISIS fighters and suspected members of the group, are being held there.
Thousands of troops from the SDF, Asayish security forces and the Women’s Protection Units took part in the first phase of the operation.
“We stand before you today to announce the end of the first phase of the security-humanitarian operation, which lasted for five continuous days and was carried out in a professional manner,” Ali al-Hassan, a spokesman for Asayish, said in a statement.
Al-Hassan revealed that 125 members of ISIS were arrested in the course of the operation. 20 of them were leaders, who commanded cells of the group and ordered assassinations inside the al-Hawl camp.
The spokesman acknowledged that the threat of ISIS is still present in the camp. He called on the international community to support the SDF work to secure the camp.
“Although we arrested many of the sleeper cells in the camp, including senior commanders, the danger is not over yet,” al-Hassan said. “The international community must consider the al-Hawl camp an international dilemma, and it must find appropriate solutions that would see all states retrieving their citizens of the camp’s residents to their lands.”
The SDF didn’t provide any details on when it may launch the second phase of the security-humanitarian operation in the al-Hawl camp.
The operation will not end ISIS influence in al-Hawl camp as the SDF itself has acknowledged. Yet, the situation in the camp will likely improve for the short term.
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