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Belgium: Official delegation sent to repatriate children of female jihadists in Syria

Women, reportedly wives and members of Daesh, walk under the supervision of a female fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at Al-Hol camp in Syria on 17 February 2019 [BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images]
Women, reportedly wives and members of Daesh, walk under the supervision of a female fighter from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at Al-Hol camp in Syria on 17 February 2019 [BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images]

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that his country had recently sent a consular mission to northeastern Syria to prepare for the return of Belgian children still detained there with their jihadist mothers.

In his statements on Thursday, De Croo stressed the need to move quickly due to the deterioration of living and security conditions in the two camps.

"We run the risk of things getting completely out of control that any follow-up will be impossible," De Croo announced.

He added: "Return requests will be studied case-by-case based on three criteria: the child's interest, the danger he or she might pose to order and security and the effects of the return process."

READ: UN chief says border access to Syria 'essential'

De Croo explained that the jihadists who had previously been sentenced in absentia by the Belgian judiciary would be imprisoned upon their return.

Le Soir newspaper reported that the delegation's mission at the end of May 2021 included taking blood samples to establish the filiation of the children.

The newspaper pointed out that the delegation's mission was limited to Roj Camp, where it is possible to return between six to eight Belgian women and between ten to 12 children due to the lack of security protection in Al-Hol Camp.

The newspaper indicated that the prime minister's office refused to comment on this information due to "security reasons".

In March 2021, De Croo pledged to repatriate Belgian children under the age of 12 in camps in the Kurdish-controlled area, stressing that the cases of their mothers will be examined separately.

READ: A dozen refugees murdered in northeast Syria camp amid deteriorating security, says UN

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BelgiumEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyria
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