The U.S. sees the return of Iraqis as easing threats from Syrian refugee camps

The U.S. sees the return of Iraqis as easing threats from Syrian refugee camps



The Iraqi government is expected to bring back about 100 Iraqi families from a large camp in Syria next week.

The repatriation operation is a sign of hope for US officials. This is a long-frustrated effort by people to repatriate thousands of Iraqis from the camp. This is a hotbed of the country. This is a sign of hope. Young ISIL fighters.

During an unannounced visit to Syria on Friday, Admiral Frank McKenzie, the supreme general in the Middle East, expressed optimism that he would be transferred from Al-Hol camp. He has repeatedly warned the young people in the camp to be “radical” and will become the next generation of dangerous fighters.

“This will be the first step for many such repatriations, and I think it will be the key to reducing the country’s population. Hall camp, Even in other refugee camps in the area. “Mackenzie told reporters that he went to Syria with him.

“The state needs to bring back their citizens, repatriate them, reintegrate them into society, eliminate their free radicals when necessary, and make them a factor of social production.”

Children carrying water containers in Al-Hol camp in January 2020 [Goran Tomasevic/Reuters]

A little doubt

Senior US officials say that the transfer of people from refugee camps in northeastern Syria is one of many issues that the US and Iraqi governments are discussing as they formulate a road map for future diplomatic and military relations. This was raised at a meeting on Thursday, when Mackenzie secretly blocked the capital, Baghdad. The official spoke on condition of anonymity and discussed internal deliberations.

Earlier this year, Iraqi leaders talked about the repatriation of some citizens, but did not follow up. Therefore, the plan for next week has met with some doubts, and it seems that it is not clear whether this is the first step to change the rules of the game or a one-time transaction.

al-Hol camp is Up to 70,000 people -Mainly women and children-displaced by the Syrian civil war and fighting with ISIL armed groups. As many as half of Iraqis. Approximately 10,000 foreigners have been housed in the secure annex, and many in the refugee camp are still stubborn ISIL supporters.

Many countries refuse to repatriate their citizens who joined ISIL after the “caliphate” was declared in 2014. The organization’s de facto control over the territory ended in 2017, but many countries are unwilling to repatriate their citizens for fear of their links with ISIL.

“Pay a high price”

In late March, the northeastern Syrian forces led by the main Kurds backed by the United States conducted a five-day raid in Hall and with the assistance of the US military. At least 125 suspects have been arrested.

Since then, Mackenzie said on Friday that the security situation in the camp has improved. However, he added that security has no real impact on the radicalization of young people there.

Standing at a base in northeastern Syria not far from the Turkish border, he said: “This is what I care about.” “ISIL has the ability to contact the outside world, to reach out to these young people and turn them around-unless we can Find a way to take it back, otherwise it will cost us a high price.”

When Mackenzie traveled through eastern Syria and stopped at four US outposts, his message was brief and direct-the US military remained in Syria to fight the remnants of ISIL, so the fighters could not be reorganized. Certain areas of ISIL remain active, especially in the large unregulated territories west of the Euphrates River, controlled by the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad.

“In the wild and in the refugee camps, the underlying conditions that led to IS poverty and sectarianism still exist,” said Richard Bell, deputy commander of the joint operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, who traveled with Mackenzie. Say. .

Mackenzie said that maintaining pressure from armed groups is important because “ISIS still has ambitious targets for attacking American homeland.”

“We want to prevent this from happening.”


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