Wives of Islamic (IS) state fighters wait next to their belongings upon their deportation from the al-Hol camp for refugees, Syria | Photo: Ahmed Mardnli/EPA
Wives of Islamic (IS) state fighters wait next to their belongings upon their deportation from the al-Hol camp for refugees, Syria | Photo: Ahmed Mardnli/EPA

Four Iraqi citizens have been arrested by authorities managing the al-Hol refugee camp in northeastern Syria. The suspects allegedly killed at least two people, Syrian Kurdish authorities said this week. The victims were refugees living in the camp.

Syrian Kurdish authorities managing the al-Hol refugee camp near the border with Iraq say a group of four IS killers accused of murdering at least two people living in the camp were arrested this week.

That's according to a report by Iraqi-Kurdish broadcaster Rudaw from Monday (June 21).

The suspects, all Iraqi nationals, confessed they acted on behalf of IS in exchange for money, the report said. One of the victims was a woman who was accused of working as a "spy" for Syria's Kurdish authorities in the camp.

The number of murders and attempted murders against civilians, women and men, living in al-Hol has been rising over the last few weeks.

Syria's Kurdish forces have repeatedly asked the international community to deal with the issue of the camp, which has been described by many as breeding ground for jihadism.

Some 60,000 live in al-Hol

Since 2019, the al-Hol camp has been hosting approximately 60,000 people, most of them women and children. Nationalities include Syrians, Iraqis as well as people with other nationalities who fled areas affected by military campaigns against IS conducted by Syria's Kurdish forces backed by the US in the spring of 2019.

Several families in al-Hol include spouses and children of former jihadist militants. About half of the 60,000 refugees at the camp are Iraqi nationals.

The self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (IS) is a Sunni Islamist rebel group which controls territory in Iraq and Syria. It is also active in eastern Libya and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, among other places.

The United Nations has accused "IS" of committing human rights abuses, mass executions and war crimes. The terror group is known for its social media and web propaganda, which includes online videos of the beheadings of soldiers, journalists and aid workers. It is largely financed by income from the oil fields in Syria and Iraq, and private donations, often from the Gulf states Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

 

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