Ukrainian woman, seven children repatriated from Syria

Ukrainian government repatriates Ukrainian woman and her seven children from Syria, reported an RFE / RL correspondent on the Syrian-Iraqi border.

Officials said the operation was organized by the Kiev government with the support of authorities in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region.

The family had been held at Roj camp in northeastern Syria since at least 2019.

After their return to Ukraine, the authorities are expected to return their documents.

“It will be important for women and children to adjust to a normal life,” said Vadym Skybytsky, spokesperson for the Defense Ministry’s Main Intelligence Directorate.

This is the second such evacuation organized by Kiev since December 2020, when two Ukrainian women and seven children returned to their countries of origin on December 31, 2020, after security services verified that they did not ‘had not been involved in “terrorist activities”.

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Kiev to increase consular assistance and repatriate around 40 Ukrainian women and children who it said were “illegally” held in “horrific” conditions in Roj and Al- Hol, another camp in northeastern Syria.

The majority of them were children, some as young as 2 years old, the New York-based human rights watchdog said.

According to HRW, the group was among some 43,000 foreigners with ties to the extremist Islamic State group who were being held by regional authorities.

Many countries cite the potential security risks posed by their nationals as a reason for not bringing them home.

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