The French and Dutch government have requested to bring home 14 orphaned children of Islamic State adherents from northeast Syria, according to a foreign affairs official for the autonomous administration in the region.
“At the request of the French government, the self-administration of North and East Syria handed over on June 9th, 2019, 12 orphaned French children from ISIS families to a delegation from the French Ministry of foreign Affairs in the town of Ain Issa,” Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in North Syria, tweeted on Monday, June 10.
“At the request of the the Dutch Government, the self-administration of North and East Syria handed over on June 9th, 2019, two orphaned Dutch children from ISIS families to a delegation from the Dutch Ministry of foreign Affairs in the town of Ain Issa,” he said.
France repatriated five orphan children of ISIS fighters in March, but the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security said over the weekend that the Netherlands that cannot return children from northeast Syria due to the security situation there.
Omar’s announcement comes less than a week after the United States repatriated two children and six women from detention in Syria.
Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria is home to nearly 74,000 people, among them wives and children of suspected ISIS fighters. According to the United Nations, about 15% of the people living in the camp are not from Iraq or Syria.
Conditions in Al-Hol are dire, and over 200 children under the age of five are known to have died in the camp.