UN rescues British orphans trapped in IS camp in Syria

UN rescues British orphans trapped in IS camp in Syria
Three British orphaned children of IS fighters who went missing after their camp in Syria came under Turkish attack have been rescued by the UN.
2 min read
14 October, 2019
The children were picked up by aid workers from the UN's refugee agency [AFP]
Three British orphaned children of Islamic State group militants who were discovered in Kurdish-run IS camp in Syria have been rescued by UN aid workers, British media reported on Tuesday.

The children, Amira, 10, her sister, Hiba, eight, and their brother Hamza, had caught the attention of reporters after they spoke British English between themselves inside Ain Al-Issa camp in Northern Syria.

The trio appeared to have come to Syria when their parents joined IS five years ago, before the group's territories were captured by US-backed Kurdish forces in north-east Syria, ending the self-declared "caliphate". 

They three children were discovered by the BBC, according to a report on Monday, but went missing after Ain Al-Issa came under attack by Turkish forces on Sunday, resulting inalmost 800 IS wives and children escaping the camp.

The children were picked up by aid workers from the UN's refugee agency, Save the Children confirmed to The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.

Their mother and father and three siblings had been killed by air strikes on the last IS territory, which fell to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in March.

The children spoke to the BBC of their lives before they were brought to live in IS territories, but could not recall their surname.

Eight-year-old Hiba appeared on camera and showed huge scars on her stomach.

"They are young and traumatised," said Sonia Kush, Syria Response Director at Save the Children told The Telegraph

Read more: SDF to be 'abolished' under Kurdish-Syria deal: reports

She said they had been taken to Raqqa city centre and efforts were being made to try to establish their surnames and see if they had extended family in the UK.

"We have been warning about this scenario for some time," she told The Telegraph. "And we say again: the foreign governments need to take responsibility for their citizens."

The British government has far refused the return of IS militants and their families, despite pressure from the US-led coalition and their Kurdish allies.

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