The Kurdish authorities in the war-torn northeast of Syria announced on Friday, June 4, that they would hand over Dutch people linked to the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) this weekend to a delegation from their country so that they could be repatriated. The Kurdish authorities’ foreign affairs department said the handover of these prisoners would take place at 8 am (GMT) on Saturday in Kamechliyé without further details.
A senior official of the department, Abdel Karim Omar, clarified that the transfer did not concern IS fighters. Since the proclamation, in March 2019, of the fall of “Caliphate” ISIS in Syria, the Kurds are demanding the repatriation of thousands of foreign women and children of jihadists they are holding in overcrowded camps.
European countries repatriate in a trickle
Despite these repeated requests, most countries, especially European countries, are reluctant to take back their citizens. Some, including France, have repatriated a limited number of minors, including orphans. In 2019, two orphans of Dutch parents were repatriated, along with twelve children of French jihadists, through a French delegation, which handed them over to representatives of the Netherlands in Paris.
The war in Syria, which started in 2011, has become more complex over the years with the involvement of foreign powers and an increase in armed factions and jihadist groups. The conflict has claimed nearly 500,000 lives, according to a non-governmental organization.