France repatriates several orphaned children of jihadists in Syria


France has announced the repatriation of five children aged up to five years who were placed in internement camps in Syria after their French parents, who had joined the Islamic State group, are reported to have died or gone missing in fighting, and thanked Kurdish-led forces 'for their cooperation, which made this outcome possible'. 

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The French government says it has repatriated five orphaned children of French jihadists from camps in north-east Syria, where a five-year offensive against Islamic State is drawing to a bloody closen reports The Guardian.

The children, aged five or under, were flown home in a military aircraft and placed under medical supervision, the foreign ministry said.

“The decision was taken in view of the situation of these very young children, who are particularly vulnerable,” the foreign ministry said, adding that the government was in touch with their French relatives.

The government thanked the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led forces that have spearheaded the fight against Isis, with backing from a US-led coalition, “for their cooperation, which made this outcome possible”.

The mothers of all five children are dead and their fathers are either dead or missing, a diplomatic source said, adding that more children could follow but that their mothers would not be allowed to return. France has been adamant that citizens who fought alongside Isis in Syria or Iraq must face local justice.

Like many other European countries, however, France had faced a quandary over what to do with the widows and children of jihadists who died in Syria or been taken prisoner there.

The situation has gained urgency as the battle against Isis enters its final days, with the Syrian Kurdish forces in charge of the camps urging the jihadists’ home countries to take their families back.

Read more of this AFP report published by The Guardian.


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