Canada Repatriates 14 Women, Children from Syria’s Roj Camp

A general view of al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo
A general view of al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo
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Canada Repatriates 14 Women, Children from Syria’s Roj Camp

A general view of al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo
A general view of al-Hol displacement camp in Hasaka governorate, Syria April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho/File Photo

Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria have handed over four women and 10 children to a Canadian delegation in readiness for their repatriation, a Kurdish official said.

Western governments have faced mounting criticism for not taking back more of their citizens who traveled to Iraq and Syria to volunteer for ISIS.

Thousands of foreign women and children remain in overcrowded displaced persons' camps in Kurdish-administered northeastern Syria.

Four wives and 10 children of foreign ISIS fighters “who were living in the Roj camp were handed over to representatives of the Canadian foreign ministry," said Khaled Ibrahim, an official in the Kurdish administration.

According to AFP, he said the women were aged between 26 and 35, while the children were aged between three and 11.

It was the fourth repatriation carried out by Canada from the overcrowded displaced persons camp, Ibrahim said.

On January 21, a Canadian federal court ordered the government to repatriate 23 citizens, 19 of them women and children, from the Roj and Al-Hol camps, without setting a date.

Previously the government of Justin Trudeau had treated ISIS family members in Syria on a case-by-case basis, and in four years only a handful of women and children had been repatriated.

Since the destruction of the so-called ISIS "caliphate" across Syria and Iraq in 2019, more than 42,400 foreign adults and children with alleged ties to the extremist group have been held in camps in Syria, according to Human Rights Watch.

They include around 30 Canadian citizens, 10 of them children, the rights group said in January.

Repatriating them is a highly sensitive issue for many governments, but there has been mounting criticism of their reluctance to bring back their own nationals from the camps.



UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
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UN Palestinian Agency Seeks Pushback against Israel's Effort to Disband it 

A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)
A Palestinian child navigates through heavy damage to a UNRWA school sheltering displaced persons the day after a nearby house was targeted by Israeli bombardment in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Friday, June 21, 2024. (AP)

The head of the United Nations Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) on Monday called to push back against efforts by Israel to have the organization disbanded.

"Israel has long been critical of the agency's mandate. But it now seeks to end UNRWA's operations, dismissing the agency's status as a United Nations entity supported by an overwhelming majority of Member States," UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini said at a meeting of the agency's advisory commission.

"If we do not push back, other UN entities and international organizations will be next, further undermining our multilateral system."