The U.N. children's agency called Sunday for all minors held in displacement camps or jails in northeast Syria to be allowed home.
UNICEF made its plea a day after three children died in a fire at the overcrowded, YPG/PKK-held al-Hol camp, for people displaced in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group.
The YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist group, seized much of northern and eastern Syria from Daesh with U.S. backing. They have since held thousands of Daesh terrorists in prisons, while their wives and children – numbering tens of thousands, many of them foreigners – are living in camps.
Al-Hol camp alone houses nearly 65,000 people, including about 28,000 Syrians, 30,000 Iraqis and some 10,000 other foreigners of many nationalities, according to United Nations estimates. Most of the civilians were forcefully brought to the camp by the YPG/PKK in April 2017.
Many are children.
"In the northeast of Syria, there are more than 22,000 foreign children from at least 60 nationalities who languish in camps and prisons, in addition to many thousands of Syrian children," UNICEF regional director Ted Chaiban said in a statement, without giving a number of children held in jails.
He urged the YPG/PKK in the northeast of Syria and U.N. member states to "do everything possible to bring children currently in the northeast of Syria back home."
They should do this "through integrating Syrian children in their local communities and the repatriation of foreign children," he added.
The YPG/PKK has started sending thousands of displaced Syrians home from the camps.
Iraqis make up the bulk of foreigners in al-Hol, which also holds alleged Daesh relatives from around 50 countries, including Western nations.
Foreign governments have been hesitant to repatriate their citizens being held in al-Hol.
But repeated calls for Western countries to repatriate their nationals have largely fallen on deaf ears, with just a handful of children and even fewer women being brought home.
Three children and a woman died on Saturday after a stove exploded in the al-Hol camp, starting a fire, a YPG/PKK official said.
The U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA said at least 26 were injured.
Al-Hol is home to more than 62,000 people, displaced family members and relatives of alleged Daesh fighters, more than half of them children, it says.
A spate of killings, including decapitations, has rocked the camp since the start of the year, and humanitarian actors have repeatedly deplored living conditions there.
On Feb. 1, the Save the Children charity also urged Iraq and Western countries to repatriate children from northeast Syria faster.
Daesh overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.
Please click to read our informative text prepared pursuant to the Law on the Protection of Personal Data No. 6698 and to get information about the cookies used on our website in accordance with the relevant legislation.
6698 sayılı Kişisel Verilerin Korunması Kanunu uyarınca hazırlanmış aydınlatma metnimizi okumak ve sitemizde ilgili mevzuata uygun olarak kullanılan çerezlerle ilgili bilgi almak için lütfen tıklayınız.