Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

Family of French fighter repatriated after crossing into Turkey

The fighter, his two wives and nine children were expelled after entering into the country from Syria

A child carrying covers on his back walks past members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the last ISIS enclave of Baghouz. AFP
A child carrying covers on his back walks past members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the last ISIS enclave of Baghouz. AFP

A French man who was fighting in Syria and his family have been repatriated after crossing into Turkey.

The man, 35, and two women, one aged 36, both thought to be his wives, were taken into custody by the French authorities and the nine children were placed under state protection, AFP reported on Monday.

They were expelled from Turkey after crossing into the country from Syria. It is not immediately clear if the man was fighting for ISIS.

The repatriation comes after the French Foreign Ministry said 12 orphans born to French ISIS members were flown to an airfield near Paris on Monday. Two Dutch orphans were also handed back to authorities.

Kurdish forces are struggling to convince western nations to take responsibility for their citizens who joined ISIS, and children who were born under the group's rule. Hundreds of fighters are languishing in Iraqi, Syrian or Kurdish jails, while thousands more are stuck in refugee camps.

The United States, which backs Kurdish fighting forces, has been urging countries to take back citizens who joined ISIS.

France has also been forced to choose between taking responsibility for its citizens and its aversion to the death penalty. Iraq sentenced 11 French citizens and a French resident convicted of joining ISIS to death.

France has been trying to spare the citizens of the death sentence but refuses to repatriate the insurgents.

Updated: June 11, 2019 03:06 PM

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