Norway announces repatriating ISIS-linked nationals from NE Syria

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – On Tuesday, Norway announced the repatriation of two sisters along with their three children, who were held in a camp for Islamic State (ISIS) family members in northeast Syria.

Norwegian authorities said that the conditions were appalling in Roj camp in Derik countryside, far northeast Syria, where they were housed.

“The camps have extremely poor and dangerous living conditions. These camps, where no child should have to live, have housed these Norwegian children for a considerable amount of time,” said Anniken Huitfeldt, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

On Tuesday, the Department of Foreign Relations of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) announced receiving a Norwegian delegation headed by Charge d Affaires of the Norwegian Embassy in Baghdad, Eric Hussam. The department said it handed over two women and three children.

The two Somali-born sisters, then were 16 and 19, secretly travelled from Norway to Syria in late 2013 to take part in a “popular uprising against President Bashar Assad’s government,” the Norwegian authorities noted.

The Norwegian foreign minister stated that the two women themselves have asked for help to return with their kids though they know they will be detained upon arrival in Norway.

The children are at the age of six, seven, and eight. The sisters’ situation, as well as other similar cases involving children from other European nations trapped in Syria, has received a lot of attention in Norway.

Huitfeldt pointed out that the US, the UN, and the AANES have all supported repatriation in these situations due to insecurity in the region.

The Roj and al-Hawl that are the most dangerous camps globaly house around 57,300 ISIS-linked individuals, including nearly 10,000 foreigners.

Reporting by Shella Abdulhalim