The London-based charity has published findings about the “barbaric” al-Hawl and al-Roj compounds in Syria. RIA found that dozens of British women and children are being held by Kurdish troops at the camps, and dubbed them “Europe’s Guantanamo” due to the conditions and treatment of the detainees. Around 25 of those held at al-Hawl have died each month, with as many as 35 British children and 15 women being detained as of the report’s release.
RIA fears the Syrian camps have become breeding grounds for the next generation of ISIS terrorists.
According to the report, more than 8,000 children are being held in the two camps.
A majority of the children held at the compounds are under five-years-old, with more than 13,500 women and children in total reported at the sites since last March.
RIA dubbed al-Hawl and al-Roj as the “perfect incubator” for young jihadists, with ISIS making them the focus of a recruitment drive.
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Caged Pearls, an alleged ISIS-affiliated recruitment group, boated al-Hawl was “the cradle of the new Caliphate”.
Other social media posts from affiliated pages said children in the compounds were the “mini-mujahideen” of the future.
The RIA report also attacks the UK Government for its attitude to British nationals being held in the camps.
It alleges British intelligence officials enter the camps regularly to identify individuals, only to then strip them of their UK citizenship.
Yasmine Ahmed, the executive director of RSI, also declared the report’s findings were a damning indictment of the UK.
She added: “This is Europe’s Guantánamo, but for children. It beggar’s belief that the UK, who rightly condemned the abuses of Guantánamo Bay, now stand by and let children, including a newborn British baby, die.
“Now these women and children face another brutal winter with more deaths.
“The claim that it is safer to leave women and children in the camps flies in the face of security experts who say that the real security risk comes from leaving these women and children in the detention camps where they are vulnerable to radicalisation.”
A Government spokesperson responded to the report, saying that revoking citizenship from those in the camps “is never a decision taken lightly” but added “our priority is always to ensure the safety and security of the UK”.
They then said: “We have also made it clear that we are willing to repatriate orphans and unaccompanied British children from Syria where this is feasible and there is no risk to UK national security.
“Every request for consular assistance is considered on a case by case basis.
“The UK is at the forefront of the humanitarian response in Syria, contributing more than £3bn and funding life-saving supplies such as food, water, healthcare and shelter, including in IDP camps in north east Syria.”