In Baghdad, the international coalition has organized a meeting of officials and representatives of several coalition embassies to discuss “security concerns” related to camps in northeastern Syria.
The coalition said in a statement that the meeting in Baghdad, which was held on June 27th, discussed “the need for international action to address growing security concerns related to camps for displaced persons in northeastern Syria, as well as ongoing repatriation efforts.”
The meeting included the Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve officials and representatives from Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting was chaired by the Dean of the French Air Force, General Vincent Coste, who manages the coalition’s joint operations.
“We recommend focusing on bringing children home from camps to prevent them from switching to spreading ISIS’s ideology,” the French general said. He added that “the high population in the camps – such as the al-Hol camp – is fertile ground for ISIS recruitment and poses a long-term threat to the security and stability that the coalition and partner forces are striving to achieve.”
The meeting discussed “the Iraqi government’s continuing efforts to repatriate its citizens, with some 2,500 people having returned from the al-Hol camp to the rehabilitation center in al-Jada’a camp since 2021,” the statement said. The statement further stressed “the need to continue repatriating other foreign nationals from camps in northeastern Syria to achieve a durable, sustainable solution.”
“This solution must be global – not just for Iraq and northeastern Syria,” representatives of the international coalition countries stressed, adding: “The solution must include the communities to which the people will return. And these communities must be able to accept the return of displaced persons so that both the communities and the returnees can prosper.”
According to figures released by Human Rights Watch in March, nearly 43,000 foreigners – including 27,500 minors – are being held by Syrian Democratic Forces in northeastern Syria. This population is divided among men being held in prisons, and women and children being held in camps.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.