29 min

A Prison Camp for Islamic State Fighters in Syria is a Humanitarian Disaster and Security Challenge Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

    • Politics

After the Islamic State was largely defeated on the battlefields of northern Syria in 2019, thousands of fighters and their families were placed in detention facilities in the region. By far the largest of these detention camps is Al Hol, which at its peak held over 70,000 people from several dozen countries. Today, over 50,000 people live in Al Hol, which is essentially an open-air prison. The vast majority of people living there are children.
My guest today, Sarhang Hamaseed, is the director of Middle East Programs at the United States Institute of Peace and is intimately involved with efforts to help repatriate families currently stranded in this prison camp. When we caught up, he had recently returned from Iraq, working on programs to support the reintegration of Iraqi families in Al Hol. In our conversation, Sarhang Hamaseed explains why this festering prison camp in northern Syria is both a humanitarian and security crisis that deserves broader international attention.

After the Islamic State was largely defeated on the battlefields of northern Syria in 2019, thousands of fighters and their families were placed in detention facilities in the region. By far the largest of these detention camps is Al Hol, which at its peak held over 70,000 people from several dozen countries. Today, over 50,000 people live in Al Hol, which is essentially an open-air prison. The vast majority of people living there are children.
My guest today, Sarhang Hamaseed, is the director of Middle East Programs at the United States Institute of Peace and is intimately involved with efforts to help repatriate families currently stranded in this prison camp. When we caught up, he had recently returned from Iraq, working on programs to support the reintegration of Iraqi families in Al Hol. In our conversation, Sarhang Hamaseed explains why this festering prison camp in northern Syria is both a humanitarian and security crisis that deserves broader international attention.

29 min