The head of the Union of Muslim Scholars in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala says three teams affiliated with Israel's Mossad spy agency are active in the US-controlled al-Hawl refugee camp in the northeastern Syrian province of al-Hasakah, and recruiting spies.
“We have received information about the activities of three Mossad-linked teams in the Syrian al-Hawl camp under the disguise of humanitarian organizations. They are actually engaged in espionage, have recruited several young people, have formed multiple spy cells and are providing the youths with various forms of support,” Jabbar al-Mamouri told Arabic-language al-Maalomah news agency on Wednesday.
He said the presence of Mossad in the refugee camp is indicative of "fresh plots" against the region, especially those targeting Iraq.
“The Syrian al-Hawl camp has turned into a hotbed for international intelligence services seeking to undermine the security of regional countries, including Iraq. This explains for US protection of the camp despite the presence of thousands of Daesh terrorists inside it,” Mamouri highlighted.
Al-Hawl camp is located in a region controlled by US-backed militants affiliated with the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and holds internally displaced people as well as families of Daesh terrorists.
It is the largest camp in war-torn Syria, with more than 60,000 people, according to UN figures.
More than 80 percent of its inhabitants are women and children. Aid agencies have long complained of inhumane conditions in the overcrowded camp.
Thousands of former Daesh supporters, including German nationals, are also kept at al-Hawl.
The UN reported last year that several children had died there. The reasons varied from complications as a result of malnutrition, diarrhea or internal bleeding.
US military brings in 40-truck convoy into Syria’s oil-rich Hasakah
Separately, a US military convoy of 40 vehicles, loaded with logistic reinforcement, has arrived in oil-rich Hasakah.
Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, reported on Thursday that the US military brought truckloads of weapons and logistical equipment into Kharab al-Jeir air base, which lies on the outskirts of al-Ya'rubiyah town, through the al-Walid border crossing earlier in the day.
The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the troops deployment are aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus, however, says the deployment is meant to plunder the country's resources.
The US first confirmed its looting of Syrian oil during a Senate hearing exchange between South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo in July last year.
During his testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo confirmed for the first time that an American oil company would begin work in northeastern Syria, which is controlled by SDF militants.
The Syrian government strongly condemned the agreement, saying that the deal was struck to plunder the country's natural resources, including oil and gas.