QAMISHLI, Syria: The Kurdish administration in northeastern Syria has handed over 12 French orphans born to militant families to a French government delegation, an official said Monday.
The children, the oldest of whom is aged 10, had been living in camps where tens of thousands of people who fled recent fighting against the Daesh group are still housed.
Kurdish officials handed over “12 orphaned French children from IS families to a delegation from the French ministry of foreign affairs,” top foreign affairs official Abdulkarim Omar said in a statement.
He said the transfer took place in the town of Ain Issa on Sunday and added that two orphaned Dutch children were also handed over to a government delegation from the Netherlands.
France has one of the largest contingents of suspected militants who were captured or turned themselves in, together with their families, in the final stages of the US-backed Kurdish assault on the last fragment of Daesh’s “caliphate.”
The militant proto-state eventually died in the village of Baghouz, on the banks of the Euphrates, in March this year, after a months-long US-backed Kurdish assault.
Larger than expected numbers of families emerged from the ruins of the last militant enclave and the fate of tens of thousands of them remains unclear.