Human Rights

Children of Baghuz: the greatest victims of ISIS and displacement

Syria

Children of ISIS who have left the militant group's last enclave, Baghouz, are the greatest victims of the clashes, with many unaccompanied children suffering from hunger and thirst.

While ISIS’ power and grip over civilians is diminishing in eastern Syria’s Deir ez-Zour Province, the effects of their rule will continue to linger with its victims. Among the most affected group of people are the children of ISIS who currently have no control over their destinies.

Following the group’s defeat in Iraq in December 2017, the militant group left behind hundreds of children who are now being held in special displacement camps and rehabilitation centres.

While their fates are not yet determined by the security forces and governments, many analysts and observers say that if no solution is given soon, this problem will exacerbate and create further issues in the future.

With the Syrian Democratic Force’s (SDF) operation against ISIS’ last enclave, Baghouz, nearing its end, thousands of women and children have fled from the militant group’s territory, heading towards the liberating forces. Family members of ISIS militants have been separated from civilians and sent to a special area in the al-Hol displacement camp, which currently houses over 42,000people.

According to the International Rescue Committee (IRC), children of ISIS are facing many issues due to the lack of aid and food supplies being delivered. The IRC reported that at least 69 people, most of whom are children under 1, have died so far due to hunger, thirst and illness.

Furthermore, the IRC’s latest report says that many people may potentially die in the camps unless something is done immediately, especially as hundreds continue to arrive at the camp every day.

With no definite solution in sight for families of ISIS, the SDF has been separating ISIS families of Iraqi origin from those with foreign passports and sending them to Iraq where attempts are being made to find solutions for them.

Despite ISIS being militarily defeated in Iraq, and on the verge of defeat in Syria, the issues that were created by the militant group will continue to create problems for the two countries.