Belgium allowed and organized the return of ten children and six women from Syrian internment camps for former Islamic State (IS) fighters. It is the largest group allowed to return after the fall of the Islamic State in 2019, BBC reported. Three women and seven children, on the other hand, rejected the offer to go to Belgium.
In recent years, hundreds of people, including women, have left for Syria and Iraq to fight for the Islamic State. Some had children during the fighting. However, after the fall of this terrorist organization, hundreds of women and children remained blocked in internment camps. From Belgium, 400 people joined the Islamic State, which is one of the highest numbers in Europe.
Upon arrival in Belgium, the mothers will probably be arrested, and the children will be cared for by the authorities. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said in March that Belgium wanted to bring back children under the age of twelve from internment camps at all costs. The authorities want to ensure their well-being.
However, many European states are very careful about the return of their citizens, who previously joined the IS. Some security experts believe that women could work for jihadists in their home countries. On the contrary, government NGOs are calling for women and children not to be left in internment centers, where they are at risk of disease, danger, and even the possibility of re-radicalization.
Title image: In this March 31, 2019 file photo, women shop in the marketplace at al-Hol camp, home to families of Islamic State fighters, in Hasakeh province, Syria. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)