France: More women, children returned from IS camps in Syria read full article at


PARIS — France on Tuesday repatriated one other group of ladies and kids from former Islamic State group-controlled areas of Syria, the most recent return of French nationals who’d been stranded in camps there, eyed warily by Paris.

The group was made up of 32 minors and 15 grownup girls, France’s nationwide counterterrorism prosecutor’s workplace mentioned. It mentioned the ladies, ranging in age from 19 to 56, had been held in custody — some on the premise of arrest warrants beforehand issued in opposition to them. The kids had been positioned within the care of protecting companies.

The returnees had beforehand been detained in a sprawling, wretched and lawless camp in northeastern Syria that holds tens of 1000’s of ladies and kids, in keeping with Kurdish authorities within the area.

Round 50,000 Syrians and Iraqis are crowded into tents within the fenced-in al-Hol camp. Practically 20,000 of them are kids; the remainder are principally the wives or widows of IS fighters.

The camp additionally has a separate, closely guarded annex holding 2,000 girls from 57 different nations and about 8,000 of their kids.

Earlier than the most recent repatriation, Kurdish authorities Monday met with a French delegation within the northeastern Syrian metropolis of Qamishli.

France has introduced dwelling girls and children from camps in northeastern Syria in successive waves since the territorial defeat of IS in 2019.

Many European nations had been sluggish to permit the return of ladies and kids from areas the place IS operated for concern they might violently activate their homelands.

France noticed extra of its residents be part of IS in Syria than another European nation, and has been particularly cautious about having them again.

Authorities insisted on repatriating residents and their kids on a case-by-case foundation, an extended and cumbersome process that has been repeatedly criticized by human rights teams. French authorities have additionally insisted that adults, women and men who fought with IS, must be prosecuted within the nation the place they dedicated crimes.

French authorities are additionally cautious of IS fighters’ kids. Talking final month to lawmakers, Justice Minister Éric Dupond-Moretti described kids coming from Syria as “lion cubs” of the so-called Islamic caliphate that IS declared over the territory it as soon as managed. The minister’s feedback appeared to recommend that some kids will not be loyal to France.

“On the one hand, these kids are not responsible for the criminal choices of their parents. On the other hand, absolute vigilance is required,” the minister mentioned.

“Our fear is that these children, in growing up, could be recovered by terrorist groups,” he mentioned.

Talking earlier than the most recent group had been introduced again, the minister mentioned 270 kids had been repatriated — and that just about three-quarters of them had been underneath the age of 10.

The repatriation to France got here days after a Canadian federal choose ordered Ottawa to assist bring home four Canadian men held in Syrian camps. Spain this month additionally introduced the repatriation of two women and 13 children from camps in Syria.

Following the rise of IS in 2014 and its declaration of a so-called Islamic caliphate in elements of Syria and Iraq, 1000’s of women and men got here from around the globe to hitch the extremist group. IS misplaced the final sliver of land it as soon as managed in east Syria in March 2019, however since then its sleeper cells have been blamed for lethal assaults in Syria and Iraq.

Humanitarian businesses and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have urged the worldwide group to repatriate its nationals from al-Hol and different amenities in Syria, as they battle to keep up safety within the camps amid safety fears.

Hogir Al Abdo reported from Qamishli, Syria.

A earlier model of this story was corrected to indicate that the spelling of the Syrian metropolis is Qamishli, not Qamilishi.


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