Islamic State Group is Smuggling Boys From al-Hol to Desert Training Camps

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The Islamic State terror group after years of collapse appears to be rebuilding its army in the eastern Syrian desert.

Smuggling boys and teenagers out of the al-Hol camp and possibly many other displaced persons camps to the northeast of Syria.

This was revealed based on Tuesday in a report by the U.S. Defense Department’s inspector general on American and allied operations in Syria and Iraq.

The report stated that “ISIS has given priority to smuggling boys out of these camps to training locations in the Syrian desert,”.

It also warned that IS have retained significant influence in many of the camps, which allow it to target people for military recruitment.

U.S. Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East, told the inspector general that in exchange for more money, female IS supporters increased their radicalization efforts at al-Hol between April and June, using social media to target children and teenagers. – Jeff Seldin

However, this report did not outline the number of children been recruited by IS and taken to the training camps, that said the concern is not new.

U.S. Central Command, General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, told lawmakers “Unless we find a way to pull these children out of these camps … find a way to reintegrate them into civil society and deradicalize them, we are giving ourselves a very significant military problem 10 years down the road,” he also said that the situation in al-Hol and the other camps were a prime concern.

“ISIS has moved ISIS families out of al-Hol using smuggling networks in Hasakah and Deir el-Zour provinces, and smuggled weapons into the camps in recent months,” a U.S. official said.

However, U.S. military officials now say that despite making 125 arrests during the initial operation and additional arrests in follow-on actions, IS retains a “strong presence” in the camp and IS-directed killings at al-Hol are again on the rise.

And also, Officials said IS has also been careful not to attack U.S. partner forces in the region, instead of carrying out a series of attacks against both Syrian government convoys and Iranian-backed militias.

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