Belgium takes back six orphaned Daesh children: SDF

Among those civilians evacuated in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor last March, above, were wives and children of foreign Daesh fighters. (AFP file photo)
Updated 15 June 2019

Belgium takes back six orphaned Daesh children: SDF

  • Many of those in custody or held at overcrowded displacement camps in northeast Syria are foreigners

BEIRUT: Belgium has taken back six orphaned children of Daesh members from Syria, the US-backed militia which is holding thousands of militants and their family members said late on Thursday.
“This must be extended to men and women in our camps and prison, not only children,” Mustafa Bali, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said on Twitter, announcing Belgium’s move.
The SDF controls the quarter of Syria east of the Euphrates river after driving back Daesh in a series of advances from 2015 that culminated in March with the group’s defeat at its last territorial enclave in Baghouz, near the Iraqi border.
However, it says it is unable to indefinitely hold the thousands of Daesh fighters and members and their families who surrendered during its offensive.
Many of those in custody or held at overcrowded displacement camps in northeast Syria are foreigners, and many remain unrepentant supporters of violent jihad.

SPEEDREAD

Daesh brought a large number of children into their zone of control or bore babies who are now orphaned, destitute or even stateless, and whose future is uncertain.

Daesh members also brought a large number of children into their zone of control or bore babies who are now orphaned, destitute or even stateless, and whose future is uncertain.
The SDF has warned that keeping them in northeast Syria where there is no long-term political settlement to underpin its control of the area is a security risk, and has called for help in managing a humanitarian crisis in the displacement camps.
Western countries have so far been unwilling to take back their citizens who went to Syria to join Daesh — seeing them as a security risk if they return home but knowing they may be unable to prosecute them.
The United States, France and the Netherlands have each repatriated a small number of women or children from northeast Syria, but many others remain there.
The SDF has also handed over numerous Daesh militants to Iraq, which is putting many former militants on trial and executing some of them.
An Iraqi court sentenced a Belgian man, Bilal Al-Marchohi, 23, to death by hanging in March for being part of Daesh. Pictures on his phone showed him posing with weapons and cradling his infant son.


Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Updated 18 November 2019

Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

  • Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter
  • ‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy’

TEHRAN: Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.
The foreign ministry said that it was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “expression of support... for a group of rioters in some cities of Iran and condemned such support and interventionist remarks.”
Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.
In a tweet on Saturday, Pompeo said in response to the demonstrations that “the United States is with you.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed his comments in Sunday night’s statement.
“The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,” Mousavi was quoted as saying.
“The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.”
The statement blasted Washington’s “ill-intent” over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s curious that the sympathizing is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,” Mousavi said.

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