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Concerns Over IS Influence In Northeast Syria Camp

Children and young people are being radicalised in the sprawling camp in Syria housing families of the Islamic State group, where those who renounce the IS risk being killed, British broadcaster Sky News reported.


Children and young people are being radicalised in the sprawling camp in Syria housing families of the Islamic State group, where those who renounce the IS risk being killed, British broadcaster Sky News reported.

At the Al-Hol camp in northern Syria, a 17-year-old woman said she was shot four times after denouncing her IS-supporting mother to local authorities.

She told Sky News that she had been forced into marriage age 11 to a 24 year-old IS fighter, becoming a widow just three months later.

Al-Hol houses the wives, widows, children and other family members of IS militants — more than 80% of its 62,000 residents are women and children.

The majority are Iraqis and Syrians, but it includes some 10,000 people from 57 other countries, housed in a highly secured separate area known as the Annex.

Many of them remain die-hard IS supporters.

The camp has long been chaotic, with the hardcore militants among its population enforcing their will on others and seeking to prevent them from cooperating with Kurdish authorities guarding it.

It has been nearly two years since the US-led coalition captured the last sliver of territory held by the Islamic State group, ending their self-declared caliphate that covered large parts of Iraq and Syria.

The brutal war took several years and left US-allied Kurdish authorities in control of eastern and northeast Syria, with a small presence of several hundred American forces still deployed there.

Kurdish military spokesman Kino Gabriel told Sky News camp residents follow Sharia Law and "have their own police", while women indoctrinate children and young people.

Gabriel warned that "if not dealt correctly with they will create the next generation of jihadists."

Some 27,000 non-Syrian children are stranded in Al-Hol, including some 19,000 Iraqi children and 8,000 from other countries, according to Sky.

On January 30, UN counterterrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov urged home countries to repatriate the children, warning that they are at risk of radicalisation.

 

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