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France repatriates five young children from camps in Syria

March 15, 2019 at 6:50 pm

Internally displaced children, who fled from al Bab district of Aleppo due to Daesh, play as they take shelter in the opposition controlled Susanbat village near the al Bab district in Aleppo, Syria on 19 February 2017. [Emin Sansar – Anadolu Agency]

France said on Friday it had brought back five young children from camps in Northern Syria, but repeated its position that adult citizens who had joined Daesh abroad should stay where they were and face justice, Reuters reports.

The children were either orphans or unaccompanied in the camps, the foreign ministry said in a statement. It did not give any details on their links to France.

Western nations have been wrestling with how to handle suspected militants and their families seeking to return from combat zones in Iraq and Syria, as well as those in detention, as Islamic State teeters on the verge of defeat.

French government policy had been to refuse taking back fighters and their wives. But officials say US President Donald Trump’s announcement that he was pulling troops out of Syria is forcing a rethink and there are still no signs of a clear way forward.

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