Kurdish forces arrest dozens in security sweep against IS families

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Mar 28, 2021, 11:09 PM IST

File photo Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

The security sweep was carried out in a camp in northeast Syria

Kurdish forces arrested dozens in an operation launched to apprehend suspected family members of Islamic State militant in a camp in northeast Syria.

Al-Hol is the largest such settlement controlled by Kurdish authorities, who warn it is emerging as an extremist powder keg following dozens of murders in the camp since the start of the year.

The camp has almost 62,000 people, mostly women and children. The residents include Syrians, Iraqi and thousands from Europe and Asia.

"More than thirty women and men have been arrested" in a sweeping anti-IS operation in and around the Al-Hol camp, said Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"The arrests are ongoing" as part of a days-long operation by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is the Kurdish regional administration's main fighting force, the Kurdish YPG militia and a local police force, Abdul Rahman said.

Syrians and foreigners "suspected of supporting IS" have been arrested, he said.

SDF officials confirmed the operation, with one of them saying it would run at least 10 days.

An SDF statement said 5,000 security personnel were deployed in Al-Hol to "protect residents" during the sweep.

It said nine people, including an "ISIS leader" had been detained so far.

A video released by the YPG showed the militia marching off a group of men towards vehicles.

(With AFP inputs)