[NEWS] IS generation grows up in Al-Khol refugee camp

Al-Khol refugee camp in northeast Syria, where tens of thousands of family members of IS militants are being held, recently received an unexpected guest – the head of the US Central Command for the Middle East, Michael Kurilla, arrived there. After talking with the inhabitants of the camp, the American general called for repatriation to their countries of citizenship, and with subsequent rehabilitation, if necessary.

We must treat them with compassion. This situation cannot have a military solution. The only thing that can be done is to repatriate, rehabilitate, and then reintegrate the inhabitants of the camp, said Kurilla.

He also noted that, according to his impressions, the vast majority of locals reject the ideology of the radicals. They want to “return to their homeland, start working, contribute to society, send their children to schools.

The situation is very difficult. We don’t have anything. Look at my children, they don’t have any documents, they don’t have clothes, they don’t have food, they don’t even have bread,” summed up life in the camp, a local resident, allegedly related to ISIS, the Saudi agency Al-Arabiya.

This is the first time that an American political figure of this level has personally visited Al-Khol, and even talked with the inhabitants, of whom there are a lot. Initially, the project was designed for about 10 thousand people, but now, according to various estimates , about 70 thousand people live there. The camp is a whole town, divided into nine separate micro districts. Mostly women are held there who fled in 2019 from the last IS stronghold in Baguz in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border. There are especially many so-called “ISIS brides” in the camp, who came from Europe, Asia, and even Russia, following their husbands who turned into militants.

It was my duty to follow my husband. I was happy with him. He had something in his head, he was looking for something, he was looking for his paradise,” Norizeman, an Indonesian citizen who lives in the camp, told the British agency Middle East Eye.

A small number of men live with the girls, mostly Syrians and Iraqis. The situation in the camp causes sympathy for its inhabitants. There is not even enough water, and the reservoirs for it, according to the Carnegie International Center, are “infested with worms.” International humanitarian organizations, of course, are trying to provide assistance to the camp, but the locals still have a hard time.