Iraq News
Human Rights

Iraq houses families of ISIS fighters in Mosul camp

By Khalid al-Taie

Iraqi government employees help families fleeing the city of Tal Afar. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement]

Iraqi government employees help families fleeing the city of Tal Afar. [Photo courtesy of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement]

The Iraqi government has been providing humanitarian aid to the wives and children of hundreds of "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) fighters who surrendered after fleeing the battlefield in al-Ayadhiya, north of Tal Afar.

These families initially surrendered to the Peshmerga forces stationed near al-Ayadhiya, Iraqi officials told Diyaruna. They were later handed over to the Iraqi army and are being housed in a special camp in southern Mosul.

"They were taken to camps and safe venues in the Kurdish region," Peshmerga forces battalion commander Col. Luqman Ibrahim told Diyaruna.

The handover was based on a mutual co-ordination agreement between officials of the joint Ninawa operations command, said Ninawa provincial council security committee member Binyan al-Jarba.

"The region handed them over after they had surrendered themselves to the Kurdish forces deployed along the contact lines in north-western al-Ayadhiya," he told Diyaruna.

Humane treatment

"About 1,400 wives and children of ISIS militants have been handed over," Tal Afar council member Tariq Akrish told Diyaruna. "They were taken to a camp near the area of Hamam al-Alil in southern Mosul."

"They come from Chechnya, Russia and Turkey, as well as Arab countries."

Inside the camp, they are receiving humane treatment, Akrish said.

This large number of families places a burden on the government, he added, as it is legally necessary to ensure they have not provided support to ISIS.

Many of them are mere children, he said, adding that the fighters' wives should be interrogated in order to ensure they have not been involved in perpetrating acts of violence.

If any family members are found to have been involved in acts of terrorism, they will be handed over to the Iraqi judiciary to face trial, said Ninawa provincial council human rights committee chairman Ghazwan Hamed.

If the investigations conclude they are guilty of no crime, however, the issue will become part of the government's work, he told Diyaruna.

"There might be agreements or consultations between Iraq and the countries these individuals have come from so they are handed over to the governments of their respective countries," he said.

Protecting children's rights

The Chechen government has received five children of Chechen citizens the security forces found in Mosul, after their ISIS family members could not be traced, media outlets reported in August.

The children, all of whom were under the age of 9, were transferred after the Iraqi judiciary's approval was obtained.

Hamed said the Iraqi government treats ISIS families, Iraqi and foreign alike, in accordance with international human rights standards.

"They are innocent until security investigation proves otherwise," he said. "They are today receiving food aid and relief support like any other internally displaced person (IDP)."

"This is a humanitarian duty and the government is committed to it," he said.

Do you like this article?

1 Comment(s)
Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500

It's very good that our government be like this. It's worthy of this level of humanity.