Kurdish forces say they had arrested 53 suspected Islamic State group members in a northeast Syria camp for relatives of jihadists, in an anti-IS security operation.
The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the launch Sunday of the sweep in Al-Hol camp, which has been rocked by assassinations and breakout attempts.
Kurdish authorities have warned that the settlement, home to almost 62,000 people, is turning into an extremist powder keg because of IS jihadists hiding out among camp residents.
The Kurds’ Asayish security forces say they “detained 53 IS members, including five leaders of IS sleeper cells that carried out violent terrorist attacks in the camp.”
Heavily-armed Kurdish forces stood guard outside the camp as others stormed suspected hideouts inside the vast settlement, an AFP reporter says.
Many residents see the camp as the last vestige of the IS proto-state that jihadists declared in 2014 across large swathes of both Syria and Iraq.
Kurdish authorities have recorded more than 40 murders in Al-Hol since the start of this year.
They say IS sympathizers are behind most of the murders, while humanitarian aid sources have said tribal disputes could be behind some of the killings.