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Terrorism

US-backed SDF thwart ISIS suicide attack on Syria’s al-Hol: CENTCOM

The top US military general for the Middle East visited the camp earlier this month and warned that ISIS was seeking to exploit horrific conditions inside al-Hol.

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The US military announced Thursday that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) they back foiled an ISIS suicide bombing on the al-Hol camp.

“At approximately 12:25 am on Sept. 20th, seven ISIS fighters in two vehicles headed in the direction of the Internally Displaced Persons camp at al-Hol were interdicted by US partnered Syrian Democratic Forces,” United States Central Command communications director Col. Joe Buccino said.

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After one of the cars exploded prematurely, around 12 miles northeast of al-Hol, which CENTCOM said was the intended target, SDF forces arrived within minutes and surrounded the second vehicle.

Two ISIS militants got out of the car wearing suicide vests, and one detonated his vest. SDF fighters shot and killed the second man.

According to Buccino, their vehicle was rigged with at least 50 kilograms of explosives.

No SDF fighters were killed or wounded, and one ISIS fighter was taken into SDF custody. Four ISIS fighters were killed.

“By taking immediate action, and showing disregard for their own safety, the Syrian Democratic Forces demonstrated their professionalism and commitment to creating and maintaining a safe and prosperous region for the people who make it their home,” Buccino said. “The response of our partnered forces highlights not only dedication to their people, but also their tenacity and commitment to the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

Earlier this month, CENTCOM chief Gen. Erik Kurilla became the first US official to enter the camp and speak with detainees.

After his vist, Gen. Kurilla sounded the alarm and warned that ISIS was seeking to exploit horrific conditions inside the camp. “With approximately 80 births in the camp each month, this place is a literal breeding ground for the next generation of ISIS,” the US general said, adding that approximately 70 percent of the population is under 12.

Read more: US CENTCOM urges nations to bring ISIS relatives home from Syria

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