Turkey to bring back Turkish children born to Daesh terrorists in Iraq

Published 20.05.2019 00:13

Turkey is willing to bring its citizens, especially children born to Daesh terrorists, in Iraq back to Turkey before the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Ankara's ambassador to Iraq said.

"We aim to bring a significant number of children, even if not all of them, before the Ramadan feast. We are working on that," Fatih Yıldız told Anadolu Agency (AA).

He was accompanying Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Ankara.

"We have agreed with the Iraqi side to alleviate the unjust suffering of the children," the envoy added. Underlining that these children had family and kinship relations in Turkey, Yıldız said: "Our goal is to bring children and families together with the contribution of the Turkish Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry."

Most of the fathers who joined the ranks of Daesh with them have died in the conflicts, leaving their children unaccompanied. After the terrorist organization was wiped out in Iraq, the children and wives of Daesh fighters were detained and placed in prison.

He added that Turkish women languishing in Iraqi jails after receiving prison sentences should be extradited to Turkey.

Some of the women were sentenced to death by Iranian courts, while others were punished with life imprisonment. Turkey has long been expending tremendous effort to bring back unaccompanied children to their countries.

Extradition of criminals between Turkey and Iraq is possible in certain circumstances. "So, we need to work out something [to bring home Turkish citizens]," Yıldız said.

Daesh started gaining control in Iraq and later in Syria in 2014 through a campaign of violence, invasion and extreme brutality against residents.

At the height of Daesh's power, thousands of foreign fighters including Turks streamed in to join the self-proclaimed caliphate. Some militants took their young children with them to Daesh-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq.

Following a period of expansion from 2014 to 2015, Daesh went into a gradual decline with U.S.-led coalition bombings weakening the group. The international community has been fighting against Daesh for years, but the bloody group remained undefeated with its militias.

Although Daesh is mostly defeated, dealing with the children of foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq is posing a dilemma for governments in their home countries. Many of the foreign fighters and their families are in prison or special camps in Iraq and Syria.

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