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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A British child who experienced the “worst horrors of war” in Syria has been brought back to the UK from a camp in the north-east of the country.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the return as part of efforts to bring back unaccompanied or orphaned children from Syria.
“These are children who have experienced the worst horrors of war and bringing them home is the right thing to do,” he said in a statement.
Officials declined to give details of the child but came after the return of three British orphans of ISIS-supporting parents in November last year. That operation followed reports that plans to bring back dozens of British children was blocked after several ministers raised concerns that some of them posed a security risk.
“As I have said previously, we assess each case carefully,” said Mr Raab in a tweet.
Save the Children, a charity, said that it had been involved in the care of the child in the camp but declined to give further details because of a British court order designed to protect the child’s identity.
The fate of British citizens languishing in north-east Syria, parts of which came under the control of a Kurdish-run administration after the defeat of ISIS this year, has been deeply contentious in the UK.
UK authorities have stripped many accused ISIS members of their citizenship in a move that has been criticised by activists.
One of the most high-profile travellers, Shamima Begum, is currently involved in a legal battle with the UK government over the withdrawal of her British passport.
Ms Begum, now aged 20, travelled to Syria in 2015 as a schoolgirl with two friends. She married a Dutch member of ISIS and had three children, all of whom died. She remains in a Syrian camp pending the outcome of the case.
Thousands of ISIS foreign supporters are detained in overcrowded jails in north-east Syria, a situation criticised in the latest report published yesterday by a UN-backed team monitoring abuses in Syria.
The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that tens of thousands of women and children had been confined in the Al Hawl camp since early 2019.
It said there were at least 75 unaccompanied foreign children from unspecified countries were being held at the Al-Hawl and Al-Roj camps who were particularly vulnerable.
It said that medical services had been stripped to “skeletal” levels owing to Covid-19.
Updated: September 16, 2020 01:18 PM
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