AANES hands over 96 ISIS women and children to Kyrgyzstan

The Republic of Kyrgyzstan received 96 citizens from the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES).

On Thursday, 7 December, a delegation headed by the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Bakit Kadîrov, visited the regions of Northern and Eastern Syria and held talks with the Autonomous Administration.

Citing an official document of the talks between the two sides, ANHA reported that the delegation received 69 children and 27 women from the families of ISIS gangs staying in camps in the regions.

Xalid îbrahîm, member of the Executive Committee of the Autonomous Administration, said that AANES will cooperate with Kyrgyzstan and all states that have citizens and children in the Autonomous Administration regions.

Îbrahîm pointed out that the Turkish state's constant threats against the region, intensive targeting of civilians and employees of the Autonomous Administration by drones, and the continuous bombing of vital facilities such as gas, oil, electricity and water stations in the region continue uninterruptedly, and these attacks are carried out in front of the eyes of the international community.

Îbrahîm stressed that the invading Turkish state has given the ISIS gangs the opportunity to reorganise themselves and to attack the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the International Coalition.

Bakît Kadîrov said that the Kyrgyz Republic is aware of the price paid by AANES and the SDF in the fight against ISIS.

Kadîrov thanked the Autonomous Administration and the SDF for helping the citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic to return to their homeland despite all the challenging conditions in the region.

ISIS members in North Eastern Syria

Since the dismantling of the territorial rule of the Islamic State in March 2019, the Autonomous Administration in Northern and Eastern Syria has been confronted with more than 10,000 imprisoned ISIS mercenaries from around sixty different countries - around 2,000 of them come from Western countries - and tens of thousands of family members, some of whom are quite dangerous. Around 50,000 people are currently housed in Hol camp near Hesekê alone. Most come from Syria and Iraq, others from Europe, the Caucasus, North Africa and the Middle and Far East. About half are minors, many of the children are under twelve years old and are indoctrinated in Islamist ideology. This makes camp one of the most dangerous places in the world. Roj camp currently houses around 2,300 ISIS women and their children.

Most repatriations to former Soviet republics

Nevertheless, appeals from the Autonomous Administration to the international community to shoulder their responsibility and bring back their citizens held in Northern and Eastern Syria have gone almost unheard for years. Most of them joined the ISIS caliphate at the height of the Syrian war. So far, only very few countries of origin have been willing to take their nationals back. Countries in Central Asia are leading the repatriation of ISIS prisoners. More than half of all repatriations from the AANES took place in former Soviet republics. So far, Kazakhstan has repatriated 710, Russia 481, Uzbekistan 339, Tajikistan 254 and Kyrgyzstan 333 nationals. France is in sixth place on the list with 226 repatriated nationals, followed by Kosovo (123), Germany (108), the Netherlands (62) and Belgium (45).