On Monday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) handed six Belgian women and 16 children of ISIS families to the Belgian government.
This came after a visit by a Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation headed by Hubert Cooreman, ambassador of Belgium to Lebanon.
“On June 20th, the AANES handed over 6 Belgian women and 16 children of ISIS families to a delegation from the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Abdulkarim Omar, co-chair of the AANES Department of Foreign Relations, in a tweet.
The AANES was first formed in 2014 in the Kurdish-majority regions of Afrin, Kobani and Jazira in northern Syria following the withdrawal of the government forces. Later, it was expanded to Manbij, Tabqa, Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir-ez-Zor after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defeated ISIS militarily.
The Belgian federal prosecutor’s office said this was the second repatriation operation after the one that took place in July 2021, when Belgian authorities took back six mothers and ten children.
The AANES handed over the Belgian citizens “after signing the official handover document between both sides,” Omar added.
In 2021, the AANES repatriated 324 children and women of ISIS families to their countries.
The AANES has always urged foreign countries to repatriate their citizens with links to ISIS, warning that children of ISIS in squatter camps will be raised on extremist ideologies leading to the resurgence of a radical generation.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.