Daesh detention centers are ticking time bombs in Iraq – Middle East Monitor
The incident of the attack on the Sina’a prison in the Syrian city of Al-Hasakah, the subsequent rebellion in the prison and the attempted escape of hundreds of detained Daesh fighters have set off the alarm bells. alarm in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria, the two countries that witnessed the explosive expansion of the terrorist organization in the summer of 2014. The details of the attack and the tactics of the operations are reminiscent of previous similar incidents that took place in Iraq during the organization’s attack on Iraqi prisons, followed by the release of thousands of jihadists accused of terrorism, who joined the organization before the expansion and control of the organization on cities in northern and western Iraq.
What does this mean when reading the political events in the region? Why did the international coalition countries not provide assistance to the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) regarding the issue of Daesh detainees in the areas under their control, known as the Autonomous Administration Region in Syria? Is there a new threat posed by the return of Daesh gang activity in Iraq after its fighters and their families sneaked into Iraq? What is the situation of the reception camps in which the families of Daesh have been detained in the northern regions of Iraq? Through all these questions, we will try to shed light on a very dangerous and important subject on the Iraqi scene.
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On the eve of January 20, 2022, Daesh launched an attack, considered the largest since the proclamation of victory over Daesh. The attack targeted the Sina’a prison, located on the outskirts of the Ghweran neighborhood, south of the city of Hasakah in northeast Syria. This is the first time that prisons containing Daesh fighters have come under attack from the outside, with previous crises being limited to cases of rebellion and disobedience inside the prisons. There were 11 such cases between 2020 and 2021. The events of the latest attack recalled the attack that took place on Iraqi prisons that held Daesh fighters in the summer of 2014. In response to what happened, the press office of Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil issued a statement on the Al-Hasakah incident, saying, “We are following with great concern the escape of dozens of Daesh terrorists from prison. of Al-Sina’a in the Ghweran neighborhood of the Syrian city of Hasakah, including some 20 leaders of the terrorist organization of Iraqi and Syrian nationalities.” The statement described the prisoner’s escape as reminding him of “a previous scenario worrying in Iraq, when a large group of terrorists escaped from Abu Ghraib and other prisons, which led to a catastrophe: the fall of more than a third of Iraq to the hands of the terrorist organization and the tragedies of Sinjar and Speicher and the displacement of mill ions of Iraqis.” Official reports from UN organizations and agencies put the number of Daesh fighters currently active in Syria and Iraq at around 10,000, while the SDF claim that the prisons under their control in their areas of influence contain about 12,000 people of about 50 nationalities. Meanwhile, families of Daesh fighters are still living in overcrowded camps in the region, the largest camp being Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, near the Iraqi border. From time to time, the border witnesses the flight of jihadist families and their crossing of the Iraqi border. Therefore, international experts have warned that the camps could become a breeding ground for extremism. Statements by the leaders of the terrorist organization in 2019 launched what it called the “second caliphate” plan, with the launch of the invasion stage stage, which are operations that use tactics of hit and run, and the use of remote desert areas stretching between Syria and Iraq, up to the heights of Hamrin in northeastern Iraq. In coincidence with the recent events in Al-Hasakah, the organization launched an attack on an Iraqi army headquarters at dawn on January 21 in the Hawi Al-Azeem area in Diyala Governorate, northeast of the capital, Baghdad. The attack caused the death of 11 soldiers, including a lieutenant. The Iraqi authorities hinted that the organization’s fighters would take advantage “of the harshness of the region and the low temperatures to carry out the attack, and then withdraw to the governorate of Salah Al-Din”. Do these simultaneous attacks mean that there are cells in Syria and Iraq that are still cooperating with the terrorist organization’s fighters? This question leads us to talk about reception camps for Daesh families.
The issue of the detention camps in which the wives and children of the terrorist organization’s fighters live has been transformed, more than four years after declaring victory over the organization, into hotbeds to breed a second generation of terrorists, while the governments of Iraq and Syria and the Autonomous Community Administration of the Kurdish region in Syria have not worked to find real solutions to this disaster. It can even be said that the official authorities, and even many international parties deliberately ignored the file, and treated the crisis with great negligence, leaving the matter to the actions of certain security, military and tribal agencies, allowing various types of violations. against groups of people that include many innocent people, or those who have done nothing wrong, but have definitely been violently brainwashed living under Daesh rule for years. This is especially the case for children, who were brought up in the so-called “children of the caliphate” program, which prepared them to be a second generation of terrorists, and with all this danger, the international institutions did not offer no real cooperation to resolve this difficult situation.
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Human Rights Watch reports shed light on part of the problem, as the organization’s report released in late 2021 stated that “dozens of Sunni Arab men who have served time in prison or been acquitted in the Iraqi Kurdistan for ties to Islamic State (Daesh) risk re-arrest or reprisals if they attempt to reunite with their families in areas controlled by Baghdad, Human Rights Watch said today. Some of these men were only 14 years old when the Kurdish security forces arrested them. The report adds: “The men are currently stuck in a camp in the Kurdistan region, having been released from prison between 2018 and 2020. The security forces do not allow them to leave the camp to live elsewhere in the Kurdistan region. , and they fear for their lives if they were to return home. Tribal customs were enforced in conflict areas that were liberated from the control of the terrorist organization, families of fighters associated with the terrorist organization being subjected to tribal decisions requiring them to leave their villages, their homes were demolished and their farms the land was bulldozed, to prevent them from returning. It has become difficult to achieve societal reconciliation between what are now called the families of Daesh and the families of the victims of the terrorist organization who demand retaliation for the murder of their children and do not want to give up their rights. and coexist again with the families of the killers. Despite the gloom of the critical situation that the conflict zones still experience, some hopeful initiatives have emerged here and there; for example, what was done by the young tribal sheikh, Ahmed Al-Muhairi, who addressed the media saying: “It takes courage to talk about what happened, because it is very painful , but we must forgive and not let anger affect our lives.” Ahmed Al-Muhairi suffered a great catastrophe at the hands of Daesh terrorists who killed his father and four uncles, destroyed their home and razed their land in the town of Hawija in Kirkuk Governorate, north of the capital, Baghdad.Despite this, the young sheikh showed courage in his tolerance and forgiveness and welcomed Daesh families into his village community. even opened his guest house after its restoration, to accommodate the widows and children of Daesh fighters, advancing a very difficult and rational option by saying: “Women and children do not present any danger, they are part of the tribe , and we cannot allow that c ties are broken. The perpetrators, of course, are the responsibility of the police. He added, “If we don’t, the alternative will be horrible,” noting that if society does not accept these families, the risk of extremism even among relatives becomes inevitable. However, it seems that we are faced with a need for governmental and international actions to develop systematic solutions to this disaster, as individual solutions will not heal the deep wound and societal divide that has occurred. These band-aid solutions won’t work in the face of a catastrophe that could strike again, in which case it will be impossible to predict the tragedies that will strike us once again.
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