Spain to bring Spanish families back from IS camps in Syria

Spain has decided to bring back several Spanish wives, widows and children of Islamic State fighters from detention camps in northeast Syria, a government source said on Monday, confirming information from the El Pais newspaper. Thousands of foreigners, including women and children, had left for Syria to live in the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate until 2019, when US-backed Kurdish forces took the last pocket of Syrian territory to the jihadists.

The fleeing women and children were housed in overcrowded detention camps run by Kurdish authorities and international charities, which had pushed for repatriations due to rising violence and dire conditions in the camps. The source said that Spain planned to repatriate before the end of the year at least three women who had asked to return to their country of origin and 13 children.

The women could be prosecuted in Spain, while the situation of the children will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on their age, the source said. Repatriations hit a record high in 2022, but more than 10,000 foreign women and children remain in Al-Hol and Roj camps, Kurdish authorities said.

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