The crackdown on Islamic State operations at the al-Hol displaced persons camp in northeastern Syria appears to be loosening the terror group’s grip on the sprawling facility.
 
Six days into the two-week-long operation, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they have arrested more than 80 people suspected of having direct ties to IS, including six they have described as senior leaders.  
 
The most prominent is Abu Karar, identified as the second most senior IS operative at al-Hol, arrested with seven others in a sweep of the camp late Thursday or early Friday.Our #SDF and #Asayish partners arrested 8 members of #daesh, including the second ranking leader Abu Karar at al-Hawl IDP camp. This security operation aims to continue the enduring #defeatdaesh mission, while improving security and safety for humanitarian efforts of NGOs.— OIR Spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto (@OIRSpox) April 2, 2021In addition to the arrests, the SDF says it has recovered weapons and ammunition, as well as laptops and other material that could provide critical intelligence.
 
The operation, being carried out with the support of the U.S and anti-IS coalition members, has taken on increased importance amid growing evidence that the terror group has been using al-Hol, which is home to thousands of wives, children and other family members of IS fighters, as a new hub for its operations.“Security services at al-Hol have struggled to address ISIS recruitment and fundraising,” one U.S. official told VOA this past February, using an acronym for the terror group.U.S. Treasury Department officials also warned that the camp was becoming a key node for IS finances, using hawalas [money transfer systems] within the camp to move some of its estimated $100 million in cash reserves.

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