http://diyaruna.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_di/newsbriefs/2019/02/11/newsbrief-01

2019-02-11

Russia 'repatriates' 27 ISIS children from Iraq

A group of 27 Russian children whose mothers are being held in Iraq for belonging to the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) arrived home in Russia Sunday (February 10th), AFP reported.

The children landed at Ramenskoye airport, near Moscow, on Sunday evening, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, quoted by TASS agency.

"Twenty-seven Russian children have been repatriated from Baghdad," a Russian foreign ministry official said earlier.

Thirty other children had been sent back to Moscow in late December.

The fathers of the children were killed during three years of fighting between ISIS and Iraqi troops, the official said.

Anna Kuznetsova, Russia's envoy for the rights of children, confirmed the report, according to the TASS state news agency.

She said the 27 children were aged from four to 13 and were from 10 different regions in Russia.

The Kremlin announced in early January that 115 Russian children aged under 10 -- along with eight aged between 11 and 17 -- were still in Iraq.

Iraqi law allows detainees to be held with their offspring until the age of three, but older children have to live with relatives.

In November, Kheda Saratova -- an adviser to Chechnya's authoritarian leader Ramzan Kadyrov -- estimated "around 2,000" widows and children of Russian ISIS fighters were still in Iraq and neighbouring Syria.

Around 100 women and children -- mostly from Caucasus republics -- have returned to Russia so far.

Nearly 4,500 Russian citizens went abroad to fight "on the side of terrorists", Russia's FSB domestic intelligence agency said last year.

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