Al-Hol Camp in North and East Syria deemed “ticking time bomb” by US official

AL-HOL, North and East Syria — Quoting a US official, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) described the Al-Hol Camp in North and East Syria as “a ticking time bomb,” emphasizing its ongoing threat to regional stability and international security.

Dana Stroul, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East, conveyed to the WSJ the extreme peril of the situation at the camp in Hasaka governorate, likening it to a potentially explosive device awaiting detonation.

Stroul highlighted the recent operation conducted by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which resulted in the seizure of a significant quantity of weapons and ammunition. The operation also led to the arrest of dozens of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters, along with the rescue of a Yezidi woman who had been held captive by ISIS for a decade.

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The WSJ outlined the primary challenge faced by the SDF and US-led International Coalition forces is countering ISIS operatives within the camp and preventing residents from engaging in extremist activities.

Mazloum Abdi, General Commander of the SDF, echoed similar sentiments, also characterizing the camp as “a ticking time bomb.” He has consistently urged countries to repatriate their citizens from the camp.

As of 10 March, Al-Hol Camp housed nearly 7,000 foreign nationals, alongside over 18,000 Syrians and 22,000 Iraqis.