Iraq to send families of foreign IS militants back to their home countries

Iraq to send families of foreign IS militants back to their home countries
Around 300 wives and children of foreign IS militants captured in Mosul will be returned to their home countries, a senior Iraqi official said on Monday.
2 min read
20 November, 2017
Families of foreign jihadists captured in Mosul will be expelled [Getty]
About 300 wives and children of foreign jihadis captured in Iraq's Mosul have been transferred from the north to Baghdad "for expulsion to their home countries", an official told AFP Monday.

"This is the second wave of expulsions, and two or three more will follow," said Nureddin Qablan, deputy head of the Nineveh provincial council. 

Iraq's second city, Mosul, was recaptured in July after being taken in a lightning summer 2014 offensive by the Islamic State group.

"A total of more than 1,200 members of jihadists' families will be transferred" from Tel Keif detention centre north of Mosul to a similar facility in the capital, Qablan said. 

In mid-September, a senior security official said when the families arrived in Tel Keif that they comprised 509 women and 813 children from 13 different countries in Europe, Asia and US.

An Iraqi government source has told AFP that about 300 of the women were Turkish.

According to the Norwegian Refugee Council NGO, which is seeking access to the detainees for humanitarian purposes, they are mainly from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Russia and Tajikistan. 

What to do with captured jihadis and their families has been an issue of great concern in their home states.

For example, French jihadi prisoners will be tried in Iraq, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said, adding that children would be treated "on a case by case basis".

In neighbouring Syria this month, Russian officials took charge of 13 women and 29 children from Chechnya who had been found in the city of Raqqa, which was recaptured from IS in October.