ISIS Network of Tunnels Found in Syria's al-Hol Camp

Over 30 murder crimes in al-Hol camp since 2022 (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Over 30 murder crimes in al-Hol camp since 2022 (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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ISIS Network of Tunnels Found in Syria's al-Hol Camp

Over 30 murder crimes in al-Hol camp since 2022 (Asharq Al-Awsat)
Over 30 murder crimes in al-Hol camp since 2022 (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (Rojava) has found a network of trenches and tunnels under al-Hol camp, east of al-Hasakah.

The security sources said these trenches and tunnels were used by sleeper cells loyal to the ISIS terrorist organization to smuggle persons and carry out murders and assassination attempts.

The ongoing investigations revealed that the tunnel connects one of the camp sectors to the outer wall and from there to the surrounding areas.

A day earlier, the Rojava security forces thwarted a mass escape through a truck designated for transporting construction materials.

The truck was transporting 39 children and 17 women from 56 ISIS families. The camp witnessed 728 escape attempts since March 2020.

A video recording inside the camp showed how tunnels were dug with primitive tools, covered with metal and wooden panels for camouflage, amid a group of tents inhabited by displaced Syrians and Iraqi refugees.

Escaping Incidents are on the rise in the camp, which houses about 56,000, most of whom are displaced Syrians and Iraqi refugees.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees records, 90 percent of the residents of al-Hol camp are women and children.

The security source and director of al-Hol camp, Hamrin Hassan, said that sleeper cells inside and outside the center are linked to human smuggling networks loyal to ISIS.

Hassan explained that they communicate with the terrorist organization through social media platforms, and the first destination after the escape is the Idlib governorate or other areas in northern Syria under Turkish influence.

After that, the same networks transport the escapees from al-Hol into Turkish territory and from there to their homelands, often done in exchange for large sums of money.

Hassan believes that the al-Hol camp is an international issue, asserting that concerned countries must take quick, drastic decisions and measures to provide appropriate solutions.

She explained that no international governments have submitted any proposal and refuse to receive their citizens, claiming they carry an extremist ideology that threatens their societies.

The official warned against not solving this issue, indicating that these families' presence on the border might spread and increase ISIS danger inside and outside the camp.

She stressed that measures must be taken to return them to their countries of origin, asserting that providing humanitarian aid is not enough.

Over 30 murders have occurred in the camp since the beginning of 2022.

Hassan appealed to the international community to save the children who fell victim to their parents' decisions, warning against their extreme background and upbringing.

ISIS families are like a ticking bomb that threatens the entire world, not only Syria, said the director.

She asserted that the camp is not a suitable environment for raising children, who comprise 65 percent of the camp's population.

Over the past years, the Internal Security Forces launched several campaigns and operations in coordination with the international coalition forces and the US army. They arrested several persons involved in human smuggling, including ISIS females, on charges of forming terrorist cells to smuggle the organization's families.



Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
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Israel Strikes Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon Foes after Attacks

Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)
Smoke rises from a building hit by an Israeli strike in Nuseirat in the central Gaza Strip on July 20, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (Photo by Eyad BABA / AFP)

The Middle East was reeling Sunday from deadly violence with Israel bombing Gaza, Lebanon and Yemen in quick succession in response to attacks from Iran-backed militant groups.
Despite Washington's top diplomat asserting a deal is near the "goal line" to end more than nine months of devastating war between Israel and Gaza rulers Hamas, the Israeli military said it intercepted a missile fired from Yemen, as it pressed on with its offensive in the besieged Palestinian territory, Agence France Presse reported.
Dozens have been killed since Saturday across the Gaza Strip, the civil defense agency said, including in strikes on homes in the central Nuseirat and Bureij areas and displaced people near southern Khan Yunis.
Residents said a major operation was underway in the district of Rafah in the south, reporting heavy artillery and clashes.
The deadly strikes in Gaza came hours after Hezbollah and its ally Hamas said they fired at Israeli positions from south Lebanon, while Yemen's Houthi group vowed to respond to Israeli warplanes hitting a key port.
The fire left raging by the strikes on Hodeida port "is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear," Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
Detailing the first strikes claimed by Israel in Yemen, Gallant warned of further operations if the Houthis "dare to attack us" after a Houthi drone strike killed one in Tel Aviv on Friday.
In Hodeida three people were killed and 87 wounded, health officials said in a statement carried by Houthi media.
Netanyahu travels to Washington
The trio of militant groups has vowed to keep up attacks on Israel until a truce ends the violence in Gaza, which lies in ruins, with most residents forced to flee their homes.
The Gaza war was triggered by Hamas's October 7 attack on southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.
The militants also seized 251 hostages, 116 of whom are still in Gaza, including 42 the Israeli military says are dead.
Israel's military retaliation to wipe out Hamas has killed at least 38,919 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The war has also unleashed hunger and health crises in Gaza, with Israel and the United Nations trading blame for vital aid supplies failing to reach those in need.
After the detection of poliovirus in Gaza sewage, though no individual cases, the World Health Organization said there were "monumental" constraints to mounting a timely response.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said Friday the agency believes many more diseases are "spreading out of control" inside Gaza.
The premier is due to address US lawmakers Wednesday in Washington, where he will be under pressure to reach a ceasefire with Hamas.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday a truce was within reach.
"I believe we're... driving toward the goal line in getting an agreement that would produce a ceasefire, get the hostages home, and put us on a better track to trying to build lasting peace and stability," he said.