The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have now concluded the first stage of the Campaign for Humanity and Security inside Al-Howl camp, often called “The City of ISIS,” completing an effort aimed at finding and arresting those responsible for the public wave of assassinations and violence that has occurred in the camp in the past three months. The operation involved roughly 5,000 SDF soldiers. Over 63,000 ISIS fighters, families, and supporters are being held in the massive Al-Howl detention camp run by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), awaiting trial, repatriation, or another step. 

No significant assistance to the SDF has been provided by the international community, despite calls from the SDF for assistance managing the large number of detainees.

According to official statistics, 47 people had been assassinated in the camp since January 1, 2021.

There were 125 people arrested who are accused of being affiliates, members, or leaders of ISIS. Among the arrestees, roughly 20 of them are accused of being directly responsible for the assassinations. The other arrestees are suspected collaborators. A large number of weapons were also confiscated. 

At least one senior ISIS leader, an emir named Ali Al-Hassan, known as Abu Mohammad Al-Jemili, was arrested. Al-Jemili had been hiding among the population of the camp. As a mufti sharia law judge, Al-Jemili’s regular duties would have been condemning people to death, torture, dismemberment, or other acts of violence, mostly when they were perceived to be breaking the extremist ISIS interpretation of sharia law. Al-Jemili is an Iraqi citizen from Al-Anbar, Iraq. He was a former member of Al Qaeda. 

These ISIS detainees have been held at the camp since March 2019 when the final territories held by ISIS were defeated.