France Repatriates 40 Children, 15 Women From Syria

On Thursday, France announced it completed a new operation to return 55 French nationals — 15 women and 40 children — from Kurdish-run camps in northeastern Syria. Once in France, the children were sent to childcare services, and the women were transferred to judicial authorities.

France Repatriates 40 Children, 15 Women From Syria
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • On Thursday, France announced it completed a new operation to return 55 French nationals — 15 women and 40 children — from Kurdish-run camps in northeastern Syria. Once in France, the children were sent to childcare services, and the women were transferred to judicial authorities.
  • This is the latest move since France initiated its policy of bringing women and children back in July.
  • Before July, France had prioritized national security over the return of detainees in Syria — many of whom are reportedly the wives and children of extremists — citing ISIS attacks like the one in Paris in 2015 that killed 132 people.
  • The latest repatriation comes a week after an EU rights court condemned France for refusing to repatriate two women and their children. In September, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that France must re-examine the request.
  • According to Human Rights Watch, the French citizens were among more than 40k foreign nationals detained in Syria — most of them reportedly Iraqis. Estimates show that some French women and children remain after Thursday's operation.
  • The move also comes as Western states consider the consequences of a potential deal between Turkey and Syria, which could see detainees transferred from Kurdish custody to Damascus.

Sources: Reuters, France24, RFI, Al Jazeera, and Sabc.

Narratives

  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Borealis Threat & Risk Consulting. France was correct in its original decision not to repatriate these individuals. While they may be French nationals, they're also adults who chose to fight for ISIS, fully aware of the traitorous act they were committing. Western states who bend their knee to the demands of the human rights courts will only risk innocent lives to save Jihadi traitors in foreign lands.
  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism. The most important question here is whether children should be punished for the crimes of their parents, and the answer is clearly no. While the adults who chose to leave and fight for a terrorist caliphate should still be tried and punished, their trial should be on Western soil so their children can be freed from their parent's sins.