As on June, a meeting of ministers of the international coalition countries to defeat Daesh (ISIS) was held in Rome, during which the situation of Islamic State mercenaries and families was discussed, and the ministers affirmed their common determination to continue the fight against ISIS and create the conditions for final defeat of the global terror outfit, Abdul Kareem Umar, Co-chair of the Foreign Relations Department of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria said that several meetings took place with the forces of the international community before the meeting of the international coalition to defeat ISIS, which was held in Rome, among them Representatives of the United States of America, and he said, “On June 3, a meeting was held with all European countries and representative of the American and Canadian Foreign Affairs via Zoom application.”
Umar confirmed that they made it clear during the June 3 meeting that the international community and the international coalition should assume their responsibilities towards the detainees of ISIS mercenaries and their families in the areas of north and east Syria, and stated, “We emphasized that this dilemma is a global problem, so it must be confronted commonly, and we made clear the great number of ISIS mercenaries and their families in the area which constitutes a huge burden on the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.”
Within Al-Hol camp alone, there are about 60,000 people, most of whom are families and advocators of ISIS mercenaries, and there is a section specialized for “female migrants,” which contains more than 8,000 people, most of whom are children under the age of 14, in addition to the presence of about 12,000 ISIS mercenaries in the Autonomous Administration’s prisons, and these belong to more than 54 countries.
Abdul Kareem Umar reiterated the need to prosecute ISIS mercenaries and their families involved in criminal acts against the people of north and east Syria, and said, “These have committed crimes against the people of the region, and secondly, we have all the evidence that condemns them.” He noted that if one of the countries that has nationals who joined ISIS and are in the Autonomous Administration’s prisons requests to repatriate their nationals, they can receive them provided that there would be guarantees that confirm holding them fair trials.
Concerning the families of ISIS mercenaries in Roj and Al-Hol Camps, which are considered the most dangerous camps in the world, Umar stressed that they have repeatedly called on the international community and the countries that have nationals to assume their responsibilities and repatriate their nationals, and said, “Unfortunately, European countries and even the European community are afraid of repatriating their nationals, and this is a big mistake; firstly, these children are not to blame because they are victims of ISIS, and secondly, keeping these children in the camps contributes to the creation of a new radical terrorist generation because they receive training on extremist terrorist ideology and the spirit of revenge, and they will pose a threat to the region and the international community as well in the future.”
Umar praised the conclusions of the international coalition’s meeting on the challenge posed by the detained foreign ISIS mercenaries, as well as their families’ members who are still present in Syria and Iraq, and the ministers committed themselves to following up on effective justice and accountability mechanisms in close coordination with countries of origin. This includes holding mercenaries who have used sexual violence as a tool of terrorism accountable, and prosecuting them in accordance with applicable international law obligations, including fair trial guarantees.
Al-Hol camp has been out of our control and the international community must bear its responsibilities
Abdul Kareem Umar explained that the international community must uphold its responsibilities, and the countries that do not carry out their tasks towards their detained nationals and those in the camps must provide aid and assistance to the Autonomous Administration in order to establish suitable detention centers, and contribute to the trial of ISIS mercenaries in the areas of north and east Syria, and thirdly, support them in Al-Hol camp. He said, “This camp has been out of our control. We must be supported in order to establish rehabilitation centers and schools for the children and women of ISIS mercenaries until a solution to this dilemma is found.”
He focused on an important point made in the closing statement of the foreign ministers’ meeting of the global coalition to defeat ISIS which is to stand beside the survivors and families of ISIS crimes’ victims who seek justice and accountability. He said, “During the military campaigns carried out by the people of the region against ISIS mercenaries, thousands of people in the region were martyred and thousands got wounded, and those have children and families. Therefore, the international community should provide assistance to the martyrs’ families and provide support to the war-wounded,” stressing that they have a project in this regard and presented it to the international community.
Umar stressed that the areas newly liberated from ISIS mercenaries such as Deir Ezzor, Tabqa, Raqqa and Manbij urgently need assistance, and need to support small projects in order to achieve stability, and said, “If there is no stability, there would be a prepared ground for ISIS mercenaries to reorganize its ranks.”
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