France said on Wednesday that it had taken home seven children of French jihadists from northeastern Syria and continued a very sensitive repatriation process that began after the IS group’s self-proclaimed caliphate was overthrown.
The children, between two and 11 years old and “particularly vulnerable”, were handed over to judicial authorities and taken into care by the social services, the Foreign Ministry said.
They had lived in the Kurdish Al-Roj and al-Hol camps, where thousands of relatives of IS group fighters and sympathizers have been held since the IS defeat in Syria in 2019, a Kurdish source in the region told AFP.
France has so far returned 35 children, many of them orphans.
Rights groups have pressured European governments to allow children to return from cramped camps to live with relatives.
Kurdish officials have also pressured countries to take back their citizens and warned that they do not have the resources to protect prisoners indefinitely.
According to the CAT’s terrorist analysis center, 13 French jihadists, including Hayat Boumedienne, the partner of one of the three men who carried out deadly terrorist attacks in Paris in January 2015, have escaped detention in Syria.
France has insisted that it will only take back children, with mothers staying to meet local justice, along with their husbands.
But many of the women have refused to be separated from their children.
>> France brought to court for refusing to return children to jihadists
( Jowharwith AFP)