The spokesperson for the SDF, Kino Gabriel, has announced statistics regarding the clashes with ISIS in Baghuz over the past 2 months.
As the operations continue to liberate the town of Baghouz in Syria’s eastern Deir ez-Zour Province, a spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Kino Gabriel, said that over 60,000 people have been evacuated since the beginning of the operations on January 9th.
Gabriel added that at least half of those who had left the town are family members of ISIS militants and that an estimated 5,000 people, the majority of which are ISIS militants, remain in the city.
After being received by the SDF, the evacuees are sorted out and screened and then sent to separate camps.
The main camp currently being used to house evacuees is al-Hol camp northeast of Baghouz. According to a recent statement by the UN, the camp currently houses 67,000 people, 90% of which are women and children, a number that is way above its capacity. As a result, those residing in the camp lack tents, food and medicine.
The absence of medicine and the high concentration of residents have also caused diseases to spread, creating a risk of future fatalities.
While civilians are waiting for the operations to end so that they can go back to their homes, the families of ISIS militants, as well as the militants who have surrendered, do not know their fates.
In interviews with ISIS militants and their families in al-Hol camp, some have stated their error and regret in joining the group. However, others still pledge their allegiance to the militant group, saying they will rise again one day. As a result, this has created a series of problems for many countries that are afraid of repatriating their citizens who joined ISIS.
Some countries have proposed to hand over foreign jihadis and their families to the Iraqi authorities, which will then try them for the crimes they have committed. However, other countries such as Morocco and Tunisia have erred against doing this, proposing instead to take back militants and rehabilitate and reintegrate them back into society.
With the operations ending soon according to the information provided by the SDF, the fallout from the defeat of ISIS in the group’s last enclave in Syria is bound to raise many more questions and issues that currently remain unresolved.
Despite this, the defeat of ISIS militarily in Syria is a moment of hope that many in the region have been looking forward to seeing.