Kurd fighters foil Daesh attack on Al-Hol camp in Syria; 3 people killed

QAMISHLI (AFP): The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said two of their fighters were killed and six extremists arrested Thursday following clashes in a volatile Syria camp where a security operation is underway.

“Two of our fighters have succumbed to their wounds following clashes” with Daesh militants in the Al-Hol camp on Wednesday night, the SDF said.

“Two women and five men masquerading as women,” were involved in the attack on SDF fighters in the camp, the force said.

The ensuing fighting led to the killing of one extremist and the arrest of six others, it added.

The Kurdish-run Al-Hol camp, which houses thousands of relatives of Daesh extremists, is the largest camp for displaced people who fled after Daesh was dislodged from its last scrap of territory in Syria in 2019.

It is still home to more than 56,000 people, mostly Syrians and Iraqis but also including other foreigners linked to the Sunni Muslim extremists.

The SDF, the de facto army of the autonomous Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria, launched a security operation in the camp last month to flush out hideout jihadists following an uptick in attacks.

Dozens of suspected Daesh operatives have been detained and major networks dismantled since the start of operations, the US-led anti-Daesh coalition said on Wednesday.

On Monday, “the SDF liberated four women in the camp who were found in tunnels, chained, and tortured by (Daesh) supporters,” the coalition statement said.

Daesh seized swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” to administer the millions-strong population. But a long and bloody fightback by Syrian and Iraqi forces with backing from the United States and other powers led to its eventual defeat in March 2019.