Shamima Begum’s Dutch husband wants to return to the Netherlands with her

The Dutch husband of Shamima Begum has said he wants her to return to the Netherlands with him. (AFP)
Updated 03 March 2019
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Shamima Begum’s Dutch husband wants to return to the Netherlands with her

  • Riedijk, 27, is being held in a Kurdish detention center in north-eastern Syria
  • Begum was moved to another camp nearer the Iraqi border after receiving death threats

LONDON: The Dutch husband of Shamima Begum, the British-born teenager who ran away to join Daesh in Syria in 2015, has said he wants her to return to the Netherlands with him.
Yago Riedijk and Begum married days after she arrived inside Daesh-held territory aged 15.
Riedijk, 27, is being held in a Kurdish detention center in north-eastern Syria. He faces a six-year jail term for joining a terror organization if he returns to the Netherlands.
In an interview with the BBC, Riedijk admitted fighting for the group but says he now wants to return home with his wife and their newborn son.
Riedijk said he rejected Daesh and had tried to leave the group, according to the BBC. He added that he was imprisoned in Raqqa and tortured after the extremists accused him of being a Dutch spy.
Begum, now aged 19, and Riedijk escaped from the town of Baghouz, the last Daesh-held area in eastern Syria, as the terror group’s territory collapsed.
Her husband surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters, and Begum and their newborn son Jerah ended up among 39,000 people at the Al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria.
Begum was moved to another camp nearer the Iraqi border after receiving death threats.
She had earlier said that she wanted to return to Britain but her British citizenship was revoked on security grounds.
When asked if he thought marrying a 15-year-old girl was acceptable, Riedijk told the BBC: “To be honest, when my friend came and said there was a girl who was interested in marriage, I wasn’t that interested because of her age, but I accepted the offer anyway.
“We sat down and she seemed in a good state of mind. It was her own choice; she was the one who asked to look for a partner for her.
“Then I was invited and, yeah, she was very young and it might have been better for her to wait a bit, but she didn’t — she chose to get married and I chose to marry her.”


US deploys 1,500 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon blames Iran's guards for tanker attacks

Updated 5 min 3 sec ago
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US deploys 1,500 more troops to Middle East as Pentagon blames Iran's guards for tanker attacks

  • Donald Trump says the additional troops would serve a 'mostly protective' role
  • The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region earlier this month

WASHINGTON:  Donald Trump said Friday the US will send 1,500 extra troops to the Middle East in a "mostly protective role" amid heightened tensions with Iran.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East. We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective," Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan.
"Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see what happens."

Officials said earlier that members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the US force presence in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, officials had said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners had not settled on a figure.
The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

More to follow...