UN should push countries to repatriate citizens from NE Syria, SDF

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commends, on Thursday, a statement by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNISEF) on conditions of the children known as “Cubs of the Caliphate”, stressing the need for NGOs and UN to assume responsibility for ISIS-related issues.

SDF was forced to detain these children [Cubs of the Caliphate] for their own safety and the safety of the community as well, as a crucial interim measure until a proper solution is found to deal with this issue, SDF Media Center said.

Those Children have been separated from adults ISIS fighters in special wards on the recommendations of the UN, and the SDF has sent detailed databases of the detained children, the statement pointed out.

“Based on these recommendations, our forces have facilitated the access of all humanitarian agencies and organizations that could support the children and set rehabilitation programs to get the correctional justice procedures.”

“Our forces have called on the international community and humanitarian organizations to provide adequate support for the Autonomous Administration of north and eastern Syria to construct and equip rehabilitation centers for Syrian and foreign children until they return home,” the statement read.

On Wednesday, UNICEF voiced concern over reports of the fatalities of children in the al-Sina’a prison in Guweiran neighborhood in Hasakah city, northeastern Syria.

Henrietta H. Fore stressed the necessity that all parties to the conflict in northeast Syrian have to maintain the physical and well-being of all the children held in captivity.

“The children stranded inside the prison might be enforced to do an active role in the ongoing clashes between ISIS detainees and the security forces,” Fore added. 

The statement of the SDF noted their forces have treated children as primary victims and reiterate their commitment to all conventions and covenants on the protection of children despite the involvement of these children in direct military actions and receiving extremist military and ideological training within ISIS.

The UN and the majority of Member States, primarily those with nationals associated with the terrorist organization of ISIS, ignored the case of their detained nationals in the north and eastern Syria and failed to meet their moral and legal obligations, leaving the Autonomous Administration of north and eastern Syria (AANES) to bear the burden of the legacy of ISIS terrorism over the years beyond its limited means and capacity, the statement said.

The SDF renewed calls for the UN “for genuine solutions by repatriating non-Syrian children, integrating them into their communities.”

The statement stressed the necessity of accelerating the repatriation of the children and women the most.

The statement said SDF have called on the international community and humanitarian organizations to provide adequate support for AANES to construct and equip rehabilitation centers that math humanitarian and international standards away from the “environment of the detention” through a sustainable support and a clear work plan.

The issue of the detained children [Cubs of the Caliphate]  dragged to the fore days after ISIS sleeper cells attacked the prison on January 20, and ISIS detainees held the children as human shields.

On Wednesday, the SDF announced full control over al-Sina’a prison and the surrender of the inmates who engaged in the riot.

Earlier, the SDF announced that the major obstacle impeded the advance of the SDF forces was that the terrorists are using the Cubs of the Caliphate,700 minors linked with ISIS, as human shields. 

Reporting by Adnan Hamo