On Saturday, Kurdish self-administration in northeastern Syria transferred 21 orphan children from the overcrowded camp of Hol, including two French minors who would soon be transferred to their country, officials said.
The 21 orphans, including foreigners of different nationalities from France and Dagestan, are part of 224 orphan children who are in Al-Hol camp, the largest of the three camps run by the Kurdish self-administration, and home for about 68 thousand people, including thousands of foreign women and children from the families of self-proclaimed Islamic State Foreigners fighters, according to AFP.
The children’s relations official in the camp, Jaber Sayyid Mustafa, said that the children were taken to the Roj camp, which also houses foreign extremist families, noting that this was for the interest of orphaned children is better in the Roj camp, where there are specialists who can take care of them, reaffirming the care centers in Al-Hol camp lack many basic services for the children.
The inhabitants of Al-Hol camp live on limited aid and experience a difficult humanitarian situation, especially in the winter. Aid organizations describe the camp’s situation as catastrophic. Only in 2019, 517 people, including 371 children, including foreigners, died in Al-Hawl camp, according to the Kurdish Red Crescent, for several reasons most notably malnutrition and lack of health care for new-borns.
Children constitute 65% of the camp’s residents, according to a statement issued by the administration, and among them, 224 children are orphans distributed in special centers or in families living in it. Among the 21 children who were transferred today, “two French orphan children – a camp official said, would be extradited to France after being transferred to Rouge at the request of Paris”.
The camps controlled by the Kurds in north-eastern Syria shelter 12,000 children and women from the families of foreign jihadists, the majority of whom reside in al-Hawl camp. Since declaring the elimination of Daesh in March, the Kurds have called on the countries concerned to return their citizens who are under their custody or to establish an international court to process the jihadists. However, most countries, especially Europeans, insist that their citizens to not be returned.
Several European countries, including France, accepted to restore a limited number of orphan children of French jihadists. In June, France recovered 12 children, most of whom were orphans. France estimates that there are about 450 French nationals being held or staying in Kurdish displacement camps in Syria.
United Nations investigators this month called for the return of thousands of children from the extremists to the countries of their loved ones because they are in particular dangerous situation.
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