Official says 450 families transferred from al-Hol camp to Iraq
Around 450 Iraqi families with affiliation to the Islamic State (ISIS) have been transferred out of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, an Iraqi official told Rudaw on Friday, adding that the transferred families will need to go through rehabilitation programs before they’re sent back to their original places of residence in the country.

“The number of families that have been transferred from the al-Hol camp is around 450. Around 8,000 families numbering 31,000 individuals remain in al-Hol camp,” the spokesperson of Iraq’s ministry of migration and displaced, Ali Abbas, told Rudaw on Friday.
Iraqis have made up more than half of the population of the notorious al-Hol camp in northeast Syria (Rojava) for years, most of them wives and children of suspected ISIS fighters, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. In January, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) put the population of the camp at 56,000.
Abbas added that the families would first be transferred to al-Jada camp in Nineveh province where they would be subjected to rehabilitation programs, before being sent back to their original places of residence. The families are returned on the basis of bails from relatives and tribal elders.
Mainly under federal Iraqi control, al-Jada houses families with suspected links to ISIS. Last December, Iraqi authorities announced their intention to close the camp, but have faced difficulties in this so far.
The programs, conducted by the camp’s directorate and in coordination with international organizations, are mainly aimed at children, women, and the elderly. Nonetheless, all the individuals in the camp must pass a variety of health, social, and psychological rehabilitation programs in order to be sent home, according to Abbas.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) arrested thousands of ISIS fighters and their wives and children when they took control of the group’s last stronghold in Syria in March 2019.
Al-Hol has been branded a breeding ground for terrorism, with human rights groups warning of squalid conditions at the camp.
There have been repeated calls from Kurdish and US officials requesting the international community to repatriate their nationals from al-Hol, but only a few countries have responded positively as they are worried about security concerns.
Two orphaned British children were repatriated to the UK from camps in northeast Syria in recent days, Save the Children said on Monday.
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