UN Security Council warns of 'dispersion' risk of insurgents in Syria



In this file photo taken on July 23, an internal security patrol escorts women, reportedly wives of ISIS fighters, in the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria. [Delil Souleiman/AFP]

NEW YORK -- The United Nations (UN) Security Council warned in a unanimously adopted statement Wednesday (October 16) of a risk of "dispersion" of insurgent prisoners in Syria.

"Members of the Security Council expressed deep concerns over the risks of dispersion of terrorists from UN-designated groups, including ISIS," the body said in the statement, using an acronym for the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria."

The Council's 15 members declared themselves "very concerned (about) a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation" in northeastern Syria.

In a separate joint statement, the European members of the Council -- Belgium, Britain, France, Germany and Poland -- stressed the necessity of securing camps where insurgent fighters are being held.

"The secure detention of terrorist fighters is imperative in order to prevent them from joining the ranks of terrorist groups," they said.

On Sunday, Kurdish authorities said nearly 800 relatives of foreign jihadists had escaped from a Kurdish-run displacement camp in the northern Syrian town of Ain Issa.

ISIS said Thursday (October 17) it had "freed" women held by Syria's Kurds, however the group did not give a number or say if the women were ISIS members or wives of jihadists.

Turkey began a military offensive into Syria on October 9.

Addressing reporters, the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, reiterated Washington's demand for a halt to Turkey's offensive.

"The United States calls on Turkey to halt its offensive and to declare a ceasefire immediately."

The Chinese ambassador to the UN said that securing camps where insurgents are held is "really in the interest of all of us", while Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said, "Nobody should pretend this is an issue of Syria and Iraq only."

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