SDF raid on Al-Hol camp sees dozens of 121 IS suspects detained
At least 121 suspects were arrested in the anti-IS operation by Syrian Democratic Forces, who control much of northern and eastern Syria, including 15 women.
Around half the camp was inspected in the seven-day sweep, after a spike in violence at Al-Hol by suspected IS sleeper cells.
Al-Hol holds family members of militants, including foreigners, but also many more locals completely unrelated to the group, who were uprooted during fierce fighting between IS and the SDF between 2014 and 2019.
"Our forces have uncovered 16 tunnels and trenches used by ISIS cells to hide and escape from the camp and confiscated a lot of digging equipment," a spokesperson for the Asayish, the internal security wing of the SDF, said according to Kurdistan 24.
Tents used by the IS group for training militants and handing out death and torture sentences were also destroyed, the spokesperson said.
Parts of Al-Hol, particularly the foreign annex, have become no-go areas for security forces leading to lawlessness at the camp, including murders and extortion.
In September, the Norwegian Refugee Council suspended work at Al-Hol due to threats to staff.
The camp has also witnessed harrowing conditions for civilians, including the deaths of children from disease, fires, and exposure.
The SDF said the security operation at Al-Hol would continue until IS elements at the camp are destroyed and security is restored.
Two US delegations visited SDF-controlled areas of Syria this week, for updates on the anti-IS operation.