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CENTCOM chief warns children risk radicalization at Syrian al-Hol camp

Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie said radicalization would remain a problem unless countries repatriate and reintegrate the children of suspected Islamic State fighters.
A boy awaits departure during the release of another group of Syrian families from the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp, which holds suspected relatives of Islamic State (IS) group fighters, in Hasakah governorate of northeastern Syria, on Feb. 20, 2021.

The head of US forces in the Middle East warned that displacement camps run by US-backed Kurdish forces in Syria will breed a new generation of Islamic State (IS) fighters if foreign governments don’t repatriate their stranded nationals.

“These children in particular are being radicalized, and unless we find a way to repatriate them, reintegrate them and de-radicalize them, we're giving ourselves the gift of fighters five to seven years down the road, and that is a profound problem,” Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, told the American Enterprise Institute during a virtual event on Tuesday.

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