Six Belgian children of Daesh members were brought back to Belgium on Friday from camps in Syria as reported on Reuters.
The children, ranging in age from six to 18, were all left parent-less in Syria, making their repatriation less complicated than that of dozens of other Belgian children of Daesh members held in Syria’s northern Kurdish region.
“The 6 children from #Syria have just arrived in our country,” Belgium’s Foreign Minister Didier Reynders Tweeted late on Friday. “The children are now being monitored and supervised by the competent local state attorneys & youth support services.”
The US backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controls the quarter of Syria east of the Euphrates river after driving back Daesh in a series of advances from 2015 that culminated in March with the group’s defeat at its last territorial enclave in Baghouz, near the Iraqi border.
However, it says it is unable to indefinitely hold the thousands of Daesh fighters and members and their families who surrendered during its offensive.
“This must be extended to men and women in our camps and prison, not only children,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the SDF, said on Twitter regarding Belgium’s move.
Daesh members also brought a large number of children into their zone of control or bore babies who are now orphaned, destitute or even stateless, and whose future is uncertain.
The SDF has warned that keeping them in northeast Syria where there is no long-term political settlement to underpin its control of the area is a security risk, and has called for help in managing a humanitarian crisis in the displacement camps.