Iraq steps up repatriations from Islamic State camp in Syria, hoping to reduce militant threats

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq is stepping up repatriation of its citizens from a camp in northeastern Syria housing tens of thousands of people, mostly wives and children of Islamic State fighters but also supporters of the militant group. It’s a move that Baghdad hopes will reduce cross-border militant threats and eventually lead to shutting down the facility, which to this day remains a hotbed of radical IS ideology. After the Islamic State group was defeated in Syria in March 2019, thousands of IS fighters and their families were taken to al-Hol camp. Many of them were Iraqi nationals. Baghdad has repatriated more than 5,000 Iraqis from al-Hol so far this year and hopes other countries will also repatriate their nationals.