The American military’s annual report has warned that Islamic State (ISIS) has an “army in waiting” in prisons and displacement camps throughout Iraq and Syria.
The US central command report also stated that there are 20,000 Is fighters and leaders in detention centres in Iraq and a further 10,000 in Syria. The report also warned of another 25,000 children in camps like the al-Hawl facility in northeast Syria who are the “potential next generation of Isis”.
“These children in the camp are prime targets for Isis radicalisation” it said.
The report said that US troops had taken part in 313 anti-Isis operations in Syria and Iraq, in which 686 Isis fighters were killed and 374 detained. Among the dead fighters was Abu Ibrahim al-Hasimi al-Qurayshi, the group’s leader who detonated a suicide vest rather than be captured as US special forces stormed his hideout in northwest Syria in February.
The causal reason for the continuing threat of Isis, particularly in Syria is the chaotic governance of much of the country, which is divided between four ruling authorities: the regime of President Assad, the western-backed SDF, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib and Turkish backed former rebels in the North.
Image Credit: AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File