Following the liberation of the Baghouz camp, ISIS militants are now concentrated in a tiny area near the banks of the Euphrates River in Syria’s Deir ez-Zour Province.
On Tuesday evening, the director of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Media Centre, Mustafa Bali, announced that the Baghouz Camp had been full captured from ISIS, leaving the remaining militants trapped in a small area near the banks of the eastern Euphrates.
Bali added that their forces are still chasing ISIS militants who went into hiding in the tunnels that the militant group had dug prior to the launch of the operations.
According to Bali, the capture of the camp was carried out by the SDF’s Special Forces, which attacked the militants from three different fronts.
While the battle for Baghouz is ongoing, the capture of the main camp is considered a positive step towards the liberation of Syria from ISIS’ control.
Following the battle for Baghouz Camp, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the SDF arrested at least 157 foreign ISIS militants who were trying to escape the collapsing so-called “Caliphate”.
Since the launch of the operations on January 9th, thousands of ISIS militants have been captured and screened by the SDF. The arrested militants are being held in a prison northwest of Baghouz and are currently awaiting their fates.
While some countries within the international community have not made any of decisions on what to do with their citizens who joined the caliphate, Iraq and Tunisia have requested that their citizens be sent back to face trial in their home countries.
Other countries have proposed that a European-administrated prison is made in the Kurdish-held territories in Syria, where arrested militants can be put to trial and imprisoned. While the debate is ongoing regarding captured ISIS militants, the discussion surrounding ISIS families is much more complicated. With over 30,000 women and children reportedly being held for being affiliated with ISIS, the fate of these families, currently held in “special wings” in al-Hol Camp, is unknown.
With the Syrian victory over ISIS in Baghouz set to be announced soon, the authorities should prepare for the fallout of the defeat of ISIS in Syria.