Middle East

UK repatriates two children from Syria camps after handover by SDF

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-led militia in north-east Syria, have handed over two British children related to members of the terror group Daesh to a British delegation this month.

According to the Arabic-language news site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, sources close to the SDF informed it of the development, saying that the children were handed over to the delegation following a meeting between the militia and Jimmy Hamill, the British Deputy Consul in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital, Erbil.

The two children – whose identities and ages have not been published – were previously kept in a one of the camps administered by the SDF in north-eastern Syria, where relatives of Daesh fighters in the tens of thousands have been kept since the group’s military defeat in 2019. Meanwhile, captured fighters have been detained in prisons in the area.

The SDF has long urged countries whose nationalities the fighters and their relatives hold, to repatriate them and decide their fate. While many nations have conducted repatriation operations, some European nations – the UK amongst them – have been reluctant to do so, due to the threats to national security the returnees would apparently pose.

Joint Vice-President of the Department of Foreign Relations in the SDF’s Autonomous Administration of north and east Syria, Abeer Elia, was cited by the paper as saying that the effort to urge repatriations will continue until all the relatives of Daesh fighters are handed back to their countries and fully integrate into their societies.

READ: Britain has abandoned citizens in Syria through ‘systemic failure,’ MPs say

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