Madrid to repatriate Spanish wives, children of IS militants
Authorities in Spain will likely repatriate the Spanish wives, widows, and children of ISIS militants.
Spain decided to repatriate Spanish citizens married to and widows of terrorist ISIS militants and their children, the El Pais newspaper reported on Monday, citing government sources.
The decision, the newspaper said, applies to four women and 16 children, with the oldest being 15 years old.
The women and children ended up as war prisoners after the fall of ISIS' last stronghold, Baghuz, Syria, in March 2019. The prisons are currently under the control of Kurdish militias in the country's northeastern region.
Three of the Spanish women asked the authorities to allow them to return to Spain with 13 minors in their appeal. The fourth POW escaped with her three children from the Al-Hol refugee camp in 2020, and her whereabouts have been unknown since.
Madrid is planning on repatriating the women by the end of the year, the report said, highlighting that they will be required to appear before the country's National Court that links them to the terrorist cell that their husbands belonged to.
The women's charges could land them up to five years in prison, but they claim that they did not fight or participate in terrorist actions, the newspaper stressed.
Their custody over their children will be decided by the Spanish children, with social services needing to ensure that the minors receive medical, educational, and psychological assistance upon their arrival in Spain. They will also monitor their integration to determine whether they had been exposed to indoctrination.
It is worth mentioning that civilians are deprived of food and healthcare as a result of the closure of the illegal Semalka border crossing with SDF-controlled areas by Iraq’s Kurdistan region authorities. The closure of the border had a significant impact on humanitarian operations.
The Kurdish Red Crescent suspended all its activities inside the camp and withdrew all its medical staff in the aftermath of the event.
During the previous month, nine cases of assassination using sharp objects or a pistol with a built-in silencer have been reported at Al-Hol camp, with charges directed against ISIS cells "within the camp”.
The activities of the organization's cells in the Al-Hol camp show that there is direct contact with ISIS members held in SDF jails, who are using the camp's activities to pressure the SDF into improving their prison conditions and bring them to trial.
The SDF holds about 12,000 detainees from 50 nations in a number of prisons in the Governorate of Al-Hasakah.
Meanwhile, around 60,000 people live at the Al-Hol refugee camp, with a notably large number of ISIS members' wives and children among them who are known as the "cubs of the caliphate”.