”The Humanity and Security Operation in the al-Hol camp has been ongoing for three days. It has been a crucial topic in regional and international press coverage, as it was supposed to be, because the al-Hol operation means ISIS loses a critical position,” writes Halit Ermiş for Hawar News.
The al-Hol refugee camp, which has a population of more than 70,000, has turned into the largest camp in the world in recent months. Thousands of Syrians were evacuated from the camp before the new anti-ISIS operation. According to the official numbers, more than 60,000 people were present at the camp on the first day of the operation.
Al-Hol hosts thousands of families whose members once joined ISIS. It is no longer a secret that “ISIS families” and many ISIS members were settled in this camp.
Tens of thousands of refugees from Iraq and different parts of Syria have been residing at this camp. Humanitarian organisations from different parts of the world have been operating at this camp and security has been provided by the security forces of North and East Syria.
Despite all the security measures, the crimes committed by ISIS could not be stopped. The fact that some ISIS chiefs were arrested in the first two days of the operation shows the seriousness of ISIS’ organisational level.
For this very reason, the operation against the ISIS gang members in the camp means a serious breakdown for ISIS. As you may recall, ISIS leader Baghdadi called on his followers to protect the ISIS structure at the camp. The ISIS members, who settled in this camp as “civilians”, established their own courts and carried out a number of executions. ISIS has been regaining strength and re-organising itself in al-Hol.
On the other hand, many ISIS families in al-Hol pose a great danger in the long run, because these gangs brainwash family members into their ideology.
In this case, the measures to be taken to prevent ISIS from re-organising itself in al-Hol should not be limited to this operation. International organisations and governments are obliged to protect the children of the camp from being a potential danger to humanity. The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, which facing embargoes, occupation and exploitation attacks, cannot take this responsibility alone against such a threat.
It is meaningful that the operation is called the “Humanity and Security” operation, because the operation not only seeks to rescue and protect camp residents, but also takes on the humanitarian responsibility to save these people from the ideology of ISIS.
Citizens of several other countries outside of the region reside in the camp. These countries are responsible of their citizens. They should carry out necessary legal processes for their citizens and repatriate them soon. This is not only a fundamental responsibility of these countries towards their own citizens, but also a very important step in terms of the international battle against ISIS.
As a result, 32 ISIS members have been caught in the first three days. We don’t know how many more ISIS members will be detected in the rest of the operation. However, if a real struggle against ISIS is to be carried out, all parties have to act more responsibly and take part in this process. This is a humanitarian and moral duty.