German and Danish delegations visit North and East Syria to repatriate several 11 women and 37 children detained in camps

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Delegations from Germany and Denmark arrived in North and East Syria this week to meet with officials of the Democratic Autonomous Administration (DAA) and to repatriate a number of their nationals being held in camps after travelling to the region to join the Islamic State (ISIS).

The delegation from the German government was headed by Director for Consular Affairs and Migration Kurt George Stöckl-Stillfried and Head of Division Consular Assistance for Germans Abroad Manja Kliese. The German officials, along with security advisers, visited the headquarters of the Foreign Relations Commission of the DAA in the city of Zalin (Qamishli). Custody of 8 women and 23 children was transferred from the DAA to the German delegation.

In a statement, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that children are not responsible for their situation, but the women will be held accountable before the criminal justice for the actions they committed, adding that a large number of them were put in prison after their arrival in Germany.

The Danish delegation included Head of Department for Consular Assistance and Crisis Management Kristoffer Vivike and legal officer Christina Klink. Custody of 3 women and 14 children being held in Roj Camp were transferred to the Danish delegation.

The delegation said the children will be provided with medical care not available in the camp. The women will be charged with criminal offenses in accordance with Danish law.

Vivike praised the useful dialogue with the DAA, which included preventing the re-emergence of ISIS, and the support that Denmark provides to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in the region.