Two children with Swiss nationality are to be repatriated from northern Syria without their mother, who once belonged to the terrorist group Islamic State, reported RTS. It will be the first time Switzerland has organised such a repatriation.
The two girls aged 9 and 15 will return to Geneva. The girls’ fathers have been calling for their repatriation for several months.
In 2016, the children were taken by their severely radicalised mother to an area of Syria under the control of the terrorist group Islamic State.
The repatriation is being done with the approval of the girls’ mother who had for a long time refused to let them go. The girls also expressed a desire to return to Switzerland to live with their fathers.
According to ambassador Johannes Matyassy, the repatriation is the result of a long term strategy that involved the fathers travelling to the Iraqi border to meet with their daughters.
It appears the two minors were released from a camp in northern Syria in an operation that took place without any assistance from Switzerland’s military.
The two girls will be the responsibility of the canton of Geneva with help from the cantonal police to ensure they present no risks to the internal security of Switzerland.
The repatriation took place within the framework of a decision taken by the Federal Council on 8 March 2019.