World, Europe

France repatriates 16 mothers, 35 children born in Daesh/ISIS camps in Syria

This marks the 1st time gov't brings back French mothers, their Syria-born minors, keeping aside its 'case-by-case' approach

Shweta Desai   | 05.07.2022
France repatriates 16 mothers, 35 children born in Daesh/ISIS camps in Syria


In a first-of-its-kind operation, France on Tuesday announced the repatriation of French mothers and their children born in the Daesh/ISIS terror group's camps in northeastern Syria, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

The statement said 35 minor children, including orphans, and 16 mothers have been repatriated from Syria.

“The minors have been handed over to the child welfare services and will be subject to medical monitoring. The mothers have been handed over to the competent judicial authorities,” it added.

The ministry thanked local authorities in northeastern Syria for their cooperation to undertake the repatriation operation.

This is the first time the government has repatriated French mothers and their Syria-born minors, keeping aside its “case-by-case” approach to repatriation.

Paris has been reluctant to bring home French nationals and their families suspected to have joined the Daesh/ISIS terrorist organization in Syria, fearing the export of radicalized individuals to the mainland.

An NGO petitioning for the repatriation of French nationals, the Collective of United Families, welcomed the operation while lamenting the “wasted time which necessarily contributed to adding suffering to suffering and trauma to trauma.”

According to the organization, another 150 children and their mothers are believed to be in Camp Roj and needed to be repatriated immediately.

At least 1,300 French nationals are estimated to have traveled to Iraq and Syria since the beginning of the armed conflict in the region.

Since March 2019, 35 orphaned or medically sick children have been brought home in France from the camps controlled by the YPG/PKK terror group in northeastern Syria, formerly controlled by the Daesh/ISIS.

In its more than 35-year terror campaign against Türkiye, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the US, UK, and EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of more than 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG is the PKK terror group's Syrian offshoot.

In February 2022, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child condemned France for failing to repatriate children of French nationals in Syria, as well as for violating the International Convention on the Rights of the Child by exposing minors to inhuman and degrading treatment and undermining their right to life.

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