France brings back 40 children from camps in Syria

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Paris undertook new operations to repatriate its nationals from Kurdish-run camps in north-eastern Syria, with 40 children and 15 women brought back to France, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

It said the children would be taken care of by social service agencies.

The prosecutor’s office said seven of them are orphans or unaccompanied.

The office said 12 of the women were taken into custody and the other three are subject to arrest warrants.

In July, France brought 35 children and 16 mothers from Syrian camps to France.

Tens of thousands of former Islamic State supporters as well as their family members are still sitting in the camps, often under dire humanitarian conditions and amid threats of violence.

The best known is the al-Hawl, or al-Hol, camp, close to Syria’s border with Iraq, where more than 50,000 people live.

About half of them are younger than 12, according to UN figures.

Imran Riza, the UN emergency coordinator for Syria, said there have been more than 100 killings at al-Hawl since the beginning of 2021 alone.

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