#al-hol

  • Displaced people in Syria’s Hawl camp appeal to Iraqi government for repatriation - North press agency

    IDPs in Syria’s Hawl camp, north of Hasakah, called on the Iraqi government to reopen the door for their return and facilitate their arrival to their families, and denied belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS).

    Most of them were displaced during the battles between the Iraqi armed forces and ISIS.

    The Iraqi government stopped repatriating Iraqi families displaced to Hawl camp between 2019 and 2020 due to the security situation, coronavirus outbreak, and the fact that some Iraqi tribal leaders accused them of belonging to ISIS.

    Hawl camp houses about 65,000 people, including Iraqi refugees, Syrian IDPs, and ISIS families, living in 13,000 tents, according to the camp administration.

    https://npasyria.com/en/?p=46751

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Iraq#frontière#Pandémie#DAESH#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

  • First case of Coronavirus appears among residents Syrian Al Hol camp - Save the childreen NGO

    After earlier cases of COVID-19 among health workers in Al Hol Camp, the first reported case of COVID-19 of a resident of the camp was confirmed today, Save the Children can reveal, as the number of cases reported across North East Syria rises to over 100.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.savethechildren.net/news/first-case-coronavirus-appears-among-residents-syrian-al-hol-camp

  • US Action Against IS Financier Shows Jihadists’ Cash Flow Continues from Turkey - VOA

    Camp smuggling

    The al-Hol camp also accommodates nearly 60,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from other parts of Syria and some refugees from Iraq. Camp authorities say they have physically separated IS family members from the rest of the camp’s residents.

    There are at least two hawala offices that openly conduct business in the non-IS section of the camp, but money often gets smuggled from those offices to IS family members as well, according Thomas McClure, a Syria-based researcher with Rojava Information Center.

    “The foreign women aren’t allowed to receive money,” McClure said, “but when they want to receive money, the Syrian and Iraqi people get it from the hawala offices in the Souq [a market in the camp] and give it to them for a cut for smuggling them.”

    Some of the IS families reportedly receive outside donations that amount to more than $3,000 a month, while an average family in the camp spends one-tenth of that amount, according to a report published by North Press Agency, a local news site.

    Hawala also provides a useful means of sending humanitarian support to IDPs and refugees, say some analysts. While banning them outright is not advised, experts say the business can be regulated in a way that prevents IS access to outside donations.

    “The hawala money transfer system is crucial to remain open for the women to be able to purchase what they need for their families,” Anne Speckhard, director of the Washington, D.C.-based International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE), who has visited the al-Hol camp for research, told VOA.

    “But it should be regulated so large sums are not transferred,” she added. “Likewise, large sums make it very possible to bribe those receiving the money and those who would smuggle the women out.”

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/us-action-against-financier-shows-jihadists-cash-flow-continues-turkey

  • Health workers in Syrian camp for ISIS families test positive for COVID-19 -Al Monitor
    Humanitarians warn that poor conditions in the camp put it at great risk for an outbreak of the virus. These are the first known cases there.

    Three health workers tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 3, UN spokesperson David Swanson told Al-Monitor.

    These are the first known cases of the virus in the camp.

    Al-Hol hosts more 65,000 people in a desert area of northeast Syria near the Iraqi border. The mostly women and children in the camp have varying degrees of affiliations with IS. Most of the population is from Iraq and Syria, but there are thousands of foreigners as well. The area is within the territory of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. The Kurdish-led statelet’s Syrian Democratic Forces, who are backed by the United States, hold thousands of IS fighters in detention centers as well as their families in al-Hol and other camps.

    The workers who tested positive are Syrian nationals working for the Kurdish Red Crescent humanitarian organization, an autonomous administration official responsible for camps told Al-Monitor. They are now isolating at home and are in “good condition" after testing positive at a hospital in the city of Hasakah, the official said.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/al-hol-islamic-state-is-camp-syria-covid-19-coronavirus.html

  • First COVID-19 cases reported in Syria’s Al-Hol camp - France 24

    Three health workers in a displaced persons’ camp in northeastern Syria have contracted the novel coronavirus, the United Nations said Thursday, the first reported infections in the vast tent city.

    The Al-Hol camp is home to tens of thousands of people, including the relatives of Islamic State group jihadists.

    It is run by the autonomous Kurdish administration that holds most of the northeast and has reported 54 cases of COVID-19 in areas under its control.

    “On 3 August, three health workers reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 at the Al-Hol IDP camp,” said a spokesman for the UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

    “The contact tracing process is ongoing. As a precautionary measure, only critical staff, with personal protective equipment, are allowed to operate inside the camp,” David Swanson told AFP.

    A health official at the camp said the three staff infected work with the Kurdish Red Crescent in Al-Hol.

    “We fear that the virus could have spread to camp residents visiting health clinics,” he said, asking not to be identified because he is not authorised to speak to the media on the issue.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.france24.com/en/20200806-first-covid-19-cases-reported-in-syria-s-al-hol-camp

  • Interview: “Social distancing is impossible” – Doctor working in Al-Hol camp on Corona prevention measures - Rojava Information Center

    Several humanitarian actors have collectively set up an isolation section inside the camp for possible suspected cases. At the camp’s main gate, a nurse checks anyone entering the camp, controlling the temperature and any potential symptoms. If any symptoms are noticed, the person would be referred to the doctor in the main medical point where we will further diagnose the symptoms and decide about next steps. if they are Corona symptoms, the person will be referred then to the isolation section here. We have a special ambulance to transfer any reported case. Additionally, all employees here must wear protection equipment, masks, and gloves. Sometimes we lack this Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). We also disinfect our medical points twice a day in the morning and at the end of workday.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://rojavainformationcenter.com/2020/08/interview-social-distancing-is-impossible-doctor-working-in

  • CENTCOM: No sign of coronavirus in Syria’s IS prisons as riots raise concern - Al Monitor

    Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the top commander of American forces in the Middle East, said today that his command is concerned about recurring uprisings in prisons holding thousands of Islamic State detainees in northeast Syria.

    McKenzie also said the United States is “absolutely” concerned about the coronavirus spreading in the prisons, though no signs of an outbreak have yet been detected.

    “We believe the best way to reduce the population of those prisons, in all cases, is repatriation,” McKenzie told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday morning.

    “We’re working with a variety of nations to achieve that goal. It’s a slow process, but we believe that’s the best path going forward,” the commander said.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Prison#camp#Soulèvement#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/07/centcom-coronavirus-isis-prison-syria-riots-mckenzie.html

  • ’Urgent need’ to repatriate, rehabilitate ISIL children in Syria - Al Jazeera
    According to a new report, more than 500 people, of which 371 were children, died at the camps in 2019.

    The report titled The Children of ISIS Detainees: Europe’s Dilemma was based on research that focused on two camps in northeast Syria, al-Hawl and al-Roj, where some 70,000 women and children are being detained. According to the report at least 12,000 of the detainees are foreign nationals.
    “The coronavirus pandemic has not diminished the urgent need to deal with these children. The struggle against ISIS ideology will continue, lockdown or no lockdown, rehabilitating these children is a key part of that.”

    #Covid19#Syrie#conflit#migrant#migration#DAESH#Al-Hol#camp#solidarité_transnationale#enfant

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/06/calls-grow-eu-repatriate-isil-children-syria-camps-200616080816494.html

  • Remittances for ISIS women in northeast Syria’s al-Hawl camp trigger imminent resurgence of the jihadist group - North press Agency

    AL-HAWL, Syria (North-Press) – Behind the angelic façade of money transfer from all over the world to ISIS wives and children in al-Hawl camp in northeast Syria under the pretext of zakat (alms-giving in Islam) and social solidarity lurks the egregious reality of weapons smuggling and fundraising for the jihadist group.

    “Some ISIS women are receiving large amounts of money, exceeding $3,000 monthly, from their relatives and friends in Turkish-backed opposition areas in Idlib and also from abroad, mostly from Turkey and several European countries,” Rashid, who works at a money transfer facility in the camp, told North-Press.

    #Covid19#Syrie#conflit#migrant#migration#DAESH#Al-Hol#camp#solidarité_transnationale

    https://npasyria.com/en/blog.php?id_blog=2695&sub_blog=4+&name_blog=Remittances+for+ISIS+women+in+

  • A children’s crisis in the refugee camps of Syria- ABC.net

    The worn-torn country of Syria has reported a very small number of COVID-19 cases – just 47 according National Public Radio in the US.

    But the coronavirus crisis has focused attention on a potential disaster in the vast Al Hol refugee camp in the country’s north.

    The international aid group Save The Children released a report this week calling on western governments to bring home 7000 children – including 47 Australians – who were taken to Syria by their parents.

    #Covid-19#Canada#Syrie#rapatriement#Enfant#camp#Al-Hol#UN#DAESH#migrant#migration

    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/religionandethicsreport/a-childrens-crisis-in-the-refugee-camps-of-syria/12235006

  • UN urges Canada to repatriate orphaned girl held in Syrian camp - CTV News
    A panel of UN human rights experts is calling on the Canadian government to urgently repatriate a five-year-old orphaned girl being held in a crowded Syrian camp, noting Canada has the ‘primary responsibility’ for ensuring the girl’s human rights.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, UN experts noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new urgency to the matter, citing inhuman and crowded living conditions in the al-Hol refugee camp where thousands of other ISIS family members are being held.

    #Covid-19#Canada#Syrie#rapatriement#Enfant#camp#Al-Hol#UN#DAESH#migrant#migration

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/un-urges-canada-to-repatriate-orphaned-girl-held-in-syrian-camp-1.4947728

  • Al-Hol : Après l’EI, le coronavirus empêche une ex-captive yazidie de retrouver sa famille - Middle East eye

    Kidnappée à l’âge de dix ans par le groupe État islamique, Layla Eido a pu renouer contact avec sa famille irakienne après une longue séparation. Mais coronavirus oblige, la jeune Yazidie est bloquée en Syrie depuis la fermeture des frontières et les retrouvailles tardent.

    « Je compte les jours qui me séparent du moment où je vais revoir ma famille », confie l’adolescente de 17 ans, qui vit temporairement dans le nord-est syrien.

    Elle a retrouvé sa liberté depuis un peu plus d’un an, après avoir été captive des combattants de l’EI jusqu’aux dernières heures du « califat », mis en déroute par des forces kurdes en mars 2019, dans le village syrien de Baghouz.

    #Covid-19@migrant#migration#camp#Al-Hol#Yezidis#Camp#Syrie#Rojava#DAESH#Prisonniers#Européens

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/live/coronavirus-suivez-lactualite-dans-la-region-mena

  • Iraqi refugee and wife injured in knife attack at Syrian camp: report - Kurdistan 24
    An Iraqi refugee and his wife were reportedly injured in a knife attack at the Al Hol camp in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a British-based war monitor, said on Monday.

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Violence#Meurtre#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/80a55307-760d-4d49-9d7f-7809484dd829

  • « J’avais l’impression d’étouffer » : de possibles cas de coronavirus dans les camps de déplacés du nord-est de la Syrie -Middle East Eye
    Dans cette région sous contrôle kurde, aucune donnée chiffrée n’est communiquée sur la propagation du virus et un seul décès a été signalé. Mais selon les informations de MEE, les camps de déplacés comptent plusieurs cas suspects, notamment parmi les familles de Daech .

    Pour l’instant, il n’existe aucune « zone d’isolation » dans le camp d’al-Hol ; le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge (CICR) a commencé à construire un bâtiment à la mi-avril, avec à peine 80 lits, mais la structure n’est pas terminée.
    Selon une source locale de Middle East Eye, une femme présentant elle aussi de nombreux symptômes du COVID-19 a été testée ; les résultats sont encore attendus.
    Depuis quelques jours, la zone kurde dispose de deux centres pour effectuer ces tests, un près d’Afrin et l’autre à Qamichli. Neuf cas suspects sont actuellement en cours de vérification.
    Joint par téléphone, le ministre kurde de la Santé, Jawad Mustafa, fait part de ses inquiétudes. « Si l’épidémie de COVID-19 se propage dans les camps de réfugiés, ce sera une catastrophe », déclare-t-il à MEE. « Nous n’avons pas les moyens de les soigner, de les isoler et d’éradiquer ce virus. »

    #Covid-19#Syrie#Rojava#Pandémie#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/fr/reportages/syrie-coronavirus-kurdes-camps-deplaces-daech-cas-covid

  • Une enfant française malade rapatriée de Syrie - Libération

    Taymia, 7 ans, est arrivée dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi en France. Elle avait quitté le camp d’Al-Hol mardi matin pour rejoindre Erbil, la capitale de la région autonome du Kurdistan irakien. Elle a été rapatriée dans un avion médicalisé et hospitalisée dès son arrivée dans la région parisienne. « Elle est fatiguée mais elle n’a pas eu peur pendant le voyage », note un proche du dossier.
    Il reste environ 300 enfants français dans les camps syriens. La doctrine française est de les rapatrier « au cas par cas ». Une politique dénoncée par les ONG, l’ONU et les défenseurs des droits de l’homme.
    #Covid19#Syrie#Rojava#Enfant#Français#Justice#DAESH#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/04/23/une-enfant-francaise-malade-rapatriee-de-syrie_1786131

  • Une enfant française gravement malade dans un camp en Syrie - Liberation
    Victime d’une malformation cardiaque, la fillette de 7 ans est dans un état critique et ne peut pas être soignée dans le camp d’Al-Hol où elle vit depuis plus d’un an
    #Covid19#Syrie#Rojava#Enfant#Français#Justice#DAESH#Santé#camp#Al-Hol#migrant#Politique#réfugiés#migration

    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/04/17/une-enfant-francaise-gravement-malade-dans-un-camp-en-syrie_1785520

  • Virus Fears Spread at Camps for ISIS Families in Syria’s North East-International Crisis group
    Disease has long been a daily concern at al-Hol, a detention camp in north-eastern Syria for families of ISIS militants, but now each death raises anxiety about COVID-19. With repatriations on hold, the UN and other international bodies must step up medical and humanitarian aid.
    #Covid19#Syrie#conflit#migrant#migration#DAESH#Al-Hol

    https://www.crisisgroup.org/middle-east-north-africa/eastern-mediterranean/syria/virus-fears-spread-camps-isis-families-syrias-north-east

  • Sur la piste des damnés de #Daech

    Nous sommes partis en Syrie, à la recherche de citoyens suisses qui ont cédé aux sirènes de l’Etat islamique. Tandis que des femmes et des adolescents livrent des témoignages inédits sur la vie à l’intérieur du #Califat, un détenu vaudois dénonce les mauvais traitements dont il est l’objet tandis qu’à Lausanne, pour la première fois, sa famille témoigne. Ils sont parmi les 11’000 combattants, femmes et enfants étrangers de Daech, détenus dans les prisons et camps tenus par les Kurdes au Nord-Est de la Syrie. Alors que leur famille et les autorités locales réclament leur rapatriement, les Etats européens, Suisse comprise, mettent le dos au mur.


    https://pages.rts.ch/emissions/temps-present/international/10646701-sur-la-piste-des-damnes-de-daech.html?anchor=10738842#10738842
    #EI #Etat_islamique #film #film_documentaire
    #Al-Hol #Daesh #femmes #enfants #camps #disparitions #Irak #Kurdistan #Baghouz #Centre_Hori (centre de #déradicalisation) #rapatriement #limbe #Syrie #prisons_kurdes #Suisse

    –---

    Sur le camp de Hal-Hol, voir aussi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/806159
    https://seenthis.net/messages/805681

  • British orphans found trapped in Syria IS camp

    The war in Syria has been reignited on new fronts by Turkey’s incursion into the north east of the country.

    In camps across the regions are thousands of terrified children whose parents supported the Islamic State group, but most of their countries don’t want them home.

    In one camp, the BBC has discovered three children, believed to be from London, whose parents joined IS five years ago, and were subsequently killed in the fighting.

    The children - Amira, Heba and Hamza - are stranded, in danger and they want to come home.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-50030567/british-orphans-found-trapped-in-syria-is-camp
    #enfants #enfance #ISIS #EI #Etat_islamique #camps #orphelins #Syrie #conflit #guerre #combattants_étrangers

    • Gli svizzeri della Jihad

      Chi sono gli jihadisti elvetici, di che reti facevano parte e cosa li ha spinti a partire? Da Winterthur a Ginevra, dai palazzi popolari ai quartieri borghesi, siamo andati a cercare i giovani che si sono uniti all’ISIS.

      Sono svizzeri e sono partiti per fare la jihad. Molti di loro hanno combattuto per lo stato islamico, altri sono entrati in contatto con gli attentatori che hanno colpito l’Europa. Sono stati catturati in Siria e adesso si trovano nelle prigioni nel nord del paese.Con loro ci sono donne e bambini. Per ora nessun tribunale sta giudicando i loro crimini, tutti quanti sono in attesa che i rispettivi paesi d’origine decidano come procedere nei loro confronti. Uno stallo che sembra però sbloccarsi: secondo alcune indiscrezioni Berna starebbe considerando l’ipotesi di far rientrare le donne e i bambini.Una squadra di Falò è stata nei campi di prigionia che ospitano donne e bambini dell’ISIS; tendopoli al collasso in cui l’ideologia radicale sta risorgendo. Ma ci sono anche svizzeri che hanno fatto parte dello Stato Islamico e sono già rientrati in Svizzera.Chi sono questi jihadisti elvetici, di che reti facevano parte e cosa li ha spinti a partire? Da Winterthur a Ginevra, dai palazzi popolari ai quartieri borghesi, siamo andati a cercare i giovani che si sono uniti all’ISIS. Alcuni si dicono pentiti, altri sembrano aver mantenuto dei legami con gli ambienti radicalizzati. A che punto stanno i processi nei loro confronti? Chi si occupa di sorvegliare le loro attività? Quanto pericolosi li dobbiamo considerare?

      https://www.rsi.ch/play/tv/falo/video/gli-svizzeri-della-jihad----------?id=12256843
      #documentaire #film #suisse #femmes #al-Hol #camps_de_réfugiés #détention #prison

    • UK special forces may help British orphans escape Syria

      Home Office reverses stance and says it will consider repatriating children in camps.
      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/d0a1d88ba6202391e12730afd5aac7dc8694af18/0_235_5616_3370/master/5616.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=204f73a9482a4debc42258

      Britain will consider repatriating orphans and unaccompanied children in north-east Syria if they are alerted to their presence by local military or aid agencies.

      Home Office officials said the UK would assist British orphans trapped in Syria after the Turkish invasion, reversing a previous policy that children had to be taken out of the country before they might get any help.

      Officials would not say exactly how children might be extracted from the country, implying that SAS or other special forces, still understood to be based in the region, could be involved in the repatriations.

      They said children thought to be British would be assessed on a case-by-case basis once removed from Syria and only orphans and unaccompanied children would be eligible to be brought back to the UK.

      The shift in policy comes after a BBC reporting team found three English-speaking orphans aged 10 or under in a Syria camp over the weekend. The children are believed to have been taken by their parents to live under Islamic State five years ago.

      The eldest, Amira, 10, told the film crew that their parents and other immediate adult family members were killed in an air assault on Baghouz, the last Isis stronghold, which fell in March, and she wanted to return to the UK.

      Save the Children, one of the few charities operating in north-east Syria, said the Home Office developments were a step in the right direction but more detail was required.

      “For this to translate into a real change of policy, we need to know that the government is working on how to bring all British children to the UK while we still can, not just those featured in the media,” the charity said.

      It is not clear how many British unaccompanied children remain in the crowded refugee camps in the Kurdish region of Syria. Some unofficial estimates put the figure at around 30.

      Any child born to a Briton – whether inside or outside the UK – is a British citizen. Before the Turkish invasion the government had said it was too risky to try to attempt any rescue children with a legitimate claim.

      When Shamima Begum was deprived of her UK citizenship in February, the British government said her infant son was still British. After the child died at a Syrian refugee camp at the age of three weeks, Jeremy Hunt, then foreign secretary, said it had been too dangerous for British officials to attempt to a rescue.

      Opposition MPs questioned whether the change in stance would lead to more orphaned children getting help. Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesman, said: “We know the UK government’s record on resettling refugees and vulnerable people leaves a lot to be desired. Beyond the rhetoric there is very little substance from the UK government.”

      On Tuesday the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, had hinted at a change of policy when, during an urgent debate on the Syrian crisis, he said: “We are looking at whether orphans and unaccompanied minors who bear UK nationality can be given safe passage to return to the UK.”

      Further details were spelled out on Wednesday by the Home Office, which has been leading on repatriations from Syria.

      The government does not want former Isis fighters and adult supporters to return to the UK, although around 450 are thought to have previously done so, and it is suggesting they could be put on trial in the region.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/16/uk-shifts-stance-on-helping-british-orphans-escape-syria?CMP=Share_iOSA
      #orphelins #rapatriement

  • Syria-Turkey briefing: The fallout of an invasion for civilians

    Humanitarians are warning that a Turkish invasion in northeast Syria could force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes, as confusion reigns over its possible timing, scope, and consequences.

    Panos Moumtzis, the UN’s regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva on Monday that any military operation must guard against causing further displacement. “We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” he said, noting that an estimated 1.7 million people live in the country’s northeast.

    Some residents close to the Syria-Turkey border are already leaving, one aid worker familiar with the situation on the ground told The New Humanitarian. Most are staying with relatives in nearby villages for the time-being, said the aid worker, who asked to remain anonymous in order to continue their work.

    The number of people who have left their homes so far remains relatively small, the aid worker said, but added: “If there is an incursion, people will leave.”

    The International Rescue Committee said “a military offensive could immediately displace at least 300,000 people”, but analysts TNH spoke to cautioned that the actual number would depend on Turkey’s plans, which remain a major unknown.

    As the diplomatic and security communities struggle to get a handle on what’s next, the same goes for humanitarians in northeastern Syria – and the communities they are trying to serve.

    Here’s what we know, and what we don’t:
    What just happened?

    Late on Sunday night, the White House said that following a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria,” adding that US soldiers would not be part of the move, and “will no longer be in the immediate area”.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – the Syrian-Kurdish-led militia that until now had been supported by the United States and played a major role in wresting territory back from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group in Syria – vowed to stand its ground in the northeast.

    An SDF spokesperson tweeted that the group “will not hesitate to turn any unprovoked attack by Turkey into an all-out war on the entire border to DEFEND ourselves and our people”.

    Leading Republicans in the US Congress criticised President Donald Trump’s decision, saying it represents an abandonment of Kurdish allies in Syria, and the Pentagon appeared both caught off-guard and opposed to a Turkish incursion.

    Since then, Trump has tweeted extensively on the subject, threatening to “totally destroy and obliterate the economy of Turkey” if the country does anything he considers to be “off limits”.

    On the ground, US troops have moved out of two key observation posts on the Turkey-Syria border, in relatively small numbers: estimates range from 50 to 150 of the total who would have been shifted, out of around 1,000 US soldiers in the country.
    What is Turkey doing?

    Erdogan has long had his sights on a “safe zone” inside Syria, which he has said could eventually become home to as many as three million Syrian refugees, currently in Turkey.

    Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in August that only 17 percent of Turkey’s estimated 3.6 million Syrian refugees come from the northeast of the country, which is administered by the SDF and its political wing.

    Turkish and US forces began joint patrols of a small stretch of the border early last month. While Turkey began calling the area a “safe zone”, the United States referred to it as a “security mechanism”. The terms of the deal were either never made public or not hammered out.

    In addition to any desire to resettle refugees, which might only be a secondary motive, Turkey wants control of northeast Syria to rein in the power of the SDF, which it considers to be a terrorist organisation.

    One of the SDF’s main constituent parts are People’s Defense Units – known by their Kurdish acronym YPG.

    The YPG are an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – a Turkey-based Kurdish separatist organisation that has conducted an insurgency against the Turkish government for decades, leading to a bloody crackdown.

    While rebels fight for the northwest, and Russian-backed Syrian government forces control most of the rest of Syria, the SDF currently rules over almost all of Hassakeh province, most of Raqqa and Deir Ezzor provinces, and a small part of Aleppo province.
    How many civilians are at risk?

    There has not been a census in Syria for years, and numbers shift quickly as people flee different pockets of conflict. This makes estimating the number of civilians in northeast Syria very difficult.

    The IRC said in its statement it is “deeply concerned about the lives and livelihoods of the two million civilians in northeast Syria”; Moumtzis mentioned 1.7 million people; and Save the Children said “there are 1.65 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in this area, including more than 650,000 displaced by war”.

    Of those who have had to leave their homes in Raqqa, Deir Ezzor, and Hassakeh, only 100,000 are living in camps, according to figures from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Others rent houses or apartments, and some live in unfinished buildings or tents.

    “While many commentators are rightly focusing on the security implications of this policy reversal, the humanitarian implications will be equally enormous,” said Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a former high-ranking Obama administration aid official.

    “All across Northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of displaced and conflict-affected people who survived the horrors of the… [IS] era will now face the risk of new violence between Turkish and SDF forces.”
    Who will be first in the firing line?

    It’s unlikely all of northeast Syria would be impacted by a Turkish invasion right away, given that so far the United States has only moved its troops away from two border posts, at Tel Abyad (Kurdish name: Gire Spi), and roughly 100 kilometres to the east, at Ras al-Ayn (Kurdish name: Serê Kaniyê).

    Depending on how far into Syria one is counting, aid workers estimate there are between 52,000 to 68,000 people in this 100-kilometre strip, including the towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn themselves. The aid worker in northeast Syria told TNH that if there is an offensive, these people are more likely, at least initially, to stay with family or friends in nearby villages than to end up in camps.

    The aid worker added that while humanitarian operations from more than 70 NGOs are ongoing across the northeast, including in places like Tel Abyad, some locals are avoiding the town itself and, in general, people are “extremely worried”.
    What will happen to al-Hol camp?

    The fate of the rest of northeast Syria’s population may also be at risk.

    Trump tweeted on Monday that the Kurds “must, with Europe and others, watch over the captured ISIS fighters and families”.

    The SDF currently administers al-Hol, a tense camp of more than 68,000 people – mostly women and children – deep in Hassakeh province, where the World Health Organisation recently said people are living “in harsh and deplorable conditions, with limited access to quality basic services, sub-optimal environment and concerns of insecurity.”

    Many of the residents of al-Hol stayed with IS through its last days in Syria, and the camp holds both these supporters and people who fled the group earlier on.

    Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières said security forces shot at women protesting in a part of the camp known as “the annex”, which holds around 10,000 who are not Syrian or Iraqi.

    The SDF also holds more than 10,000 IS detainees in other prisons, and the possible release of these people – plus those at al-Hol – may become a useful bargaining chip for the Kurdish-led group.

    On Monday, an SDF commander said guarding the prisoners had become a “second priority” in the wake of a possible Turkish offensive.

    “All their families are located in the border area,” General Mazloum Kobani Abdi told NBC News of the SDF fighters who had been guarding the prisoners. “So they are forced to defend their families.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/10/08/syria-turkey-briefing-fallout-invasion-civilians
    #Syrie #Turquie #guerre #conflit #civiles #invasion #al-Hol #Kurdistan #Kurdes #camps #camps_de_réfugiés
    ping @isskein

    • Il faut stopper Erdogan

      Les Kurdes de Syrie ont commencé à payer le prix de la trahison de l’Occident. Une pluie de bombes s’est abattue mercredi après-midi sur les villes frontière, précédant de peu une offensive terrestre de l’armée turque et de ses alliés islamistes de Syrie. Le macabre décompte des victimes peut débuter. On imagine l’effroi qui a saisi les habitants du #Rojava déjà durement éprouvés par plusieurs années de guerre contre les djihadistes.

      Le tweet dominical de Donald Trump avait annoncé la trahison ultime des Etats-Unis. Mais l’offensive turque répond à une logique plus profonde. A force de voir l’Union européenne lui manger dans la main, à force de jouer sans trop de heurts la balance géopolitique entre Moscou et Washington au gré de l’opportunisme des deux grandes puissances, Recep Tayyip Erdogan a des raisons de se sentir intouchable. Lorsqu’en 2015 et 2016, il faisait massacrer sa propre population dans les villes kurdes de Cizre, Nusaybin, Silopi ou Sur, le silence était de plomb.

      L’offensive débutée hier, le sultan l’annonce de longue date, sans provoquer de réaction ferme des Européens. La girouette Trump a bon dos : en matière d’allégeance à Ankara, les Européens sont autrement plus constants.

      Il faudra pourtant stopper Erdogan. Laisser le #Kurdistan_syrien tomber aux mains des milices islamistes et de l’armée turque reviendrait à cautionner un crime impardonnable. A abandonner des centaines de milliers de civils, dont de très nombreux réfugiés, et des milliers de combattants de la liberté à leurs bourreaux. Ce serait également la certitude d’une guerre de longue durée entre la Turquie et sa propre minorité kurde, environ un cinquième de sa population.

      Plusieurs pays européens ont réclamé une réunion du Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU. Le signe d’un sursaut ? L’espoir d’un cessez-le-feu rapide ? Ou des jérémiades d’arrière-garde, qui cesseront dès que la Turquie aura atteint ses objectifs ?

      Comme souvent, la superpuissance étasunienne détient les cartes maîtresses. Et Donald Trump n’en est pas à son premier virage intempestif. S’il a donné son feu vert à Erdogan, le républicain se retrouve coincé entre les interventionnistes et les isolationnistes de son propre parti. Hier, le premier camp s’indignait bruyamment. Exerçant une pression redoutable pour un président déjà affaibli par le dossier ukrainien.

      Il faudra qu’elle pèse aussi sur les dirigeants européens. La solidarité avec le Rojava doit devenir une priorité du mouvement social et des consciences.

      https://lecourrier.ch/2019/10/09/il-faut-stopper-erdogan

    • #Al-Hol detainees attack guards and start fires as Turkish assault begins

      Camp holding thousands of Islamic State suspects thrown into ’chaos’, says Kurdish official

      The Turkish assault on northeast Syria has prompted Islamic State group-affiliated women and youth in al-Hol’s camp to attack guards and start fires, a Kurdish official told Middle East Eye.

      Kurdish-held northeastern Syria has been on high alert since the United States announced on Sunday it would leave the area in anticipation of a Turkish offensive.

      Over the three days since the US announcement, chaos has broken out in the teeming al-Hol camp, Mahmoud Kro, an official that oversees internment camps in the Kurdish-run autonomous area, told MEE.

      Some 60,000 people suspected of being affiliated or linked to the Islamic State (IS) group, the majority women and children, are being held in the camp.

      “There are attacks on guards and camp management, in addition to burning tents and preparing explosive devices,” Kro told MEE from Qamishli.

      The status of al-Hol’s detainees has been a major concern since Turkey began making more threats to invade northeast Syria this year.

      In the phone call between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump on Sunday that precipitated the United States’ pullout, the US president pressed his Turkish counterpart on the fate of foreign IS suspects in Kurdish custody, MEE revealed.
      ‘Targeting our existence as Kurds’

      Turkey launched its assault on northeastern Syria on Wednesday alongside its Syrian rebel allies, aiming, it says, to push the Kurdish YPG militia at least 32km from the border.

      Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed PKK militant group.

      However, the YPG is a leading component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia, which has been Washington’s principal partner on the ground in the fight against IS.

      SDF fighters guard al-Hol, but Kro said the Turkish attack would draw them away to join the battle.

      “Any war in the region will force the present forces guarding the camp to go defend the border,” he said. “This will increase the chance of chaos in the camp.”

      Kro said that the administration in al-Hol has not made any preparations for a war with Turkey because the SDF’s priority is protecting northeast Syria and Kurds.

      “In terms of preparations, our first priority is protecting our region and existence,” he said. “The Turks are targeting our existence as Kurds to the first degree.”

      Some officials from the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF, agree with Kro’s assessment that the detainees in al-Hol could get out.

      “If fighting breaks out between the SDF and Turkey, security at prisons will relax and prisoners could escape,” Bassam Ishak, the co-chair of the SDC in the US, told MEE ahead of the offensive.

      Meanwhile, SDC spokesman Amjad Osman said, as other Syrian Kurdish officials have, that a Turkish attack on northeast Syria would negatively affect the continuing war on IS in the country.

      “We are committed to fighting terrorism,” he told MEE. “But now our priority is to, first of all, confront the Turkish threats. And this will have a negative effect on our battle against Daesh,” using the Arabic acronym for IS.

      However, Turkey has bristled at the suggestion that the camps and fight against IS will be endangered by Ankara’s offensive.

      “This blackmail reveals the true face of the YPG and demonstrates how it has no intent of fighting against IS,” a Turkish official told MEE.

      Some residents of northeast Syria are already starting to flee. Many fear yet another war in the country that is still dealing with the conflict between government and rebel forces, and lingering IS attacks.

      Osman stopped short of saying the SDF would pack up and leave al-Hol. However, it will be hard for the group to keep holding the Syrian, Iraqi and international detainees during such a war, he said.

      “We are trying as much as possible to continue protecting the camps,” Osman said. “But any attempt to drag us into a military battle with Turkey will have a dangerous impact.”

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/al-hol-detainees-attack-guards-and-start-fires-turkish-assault-begins
      #ISIS #Etat_islamique #EI