ZALIN, Syria — On Saturday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) transferred custody of 83 Kyrgyz nationals from families associated with the Islamic State (ISIS). The handover took place in Zalin (Qamishli), Syria. The Kyrgyz delegation was led by Bakit Kadyrov, a representative of the Kyrgyzstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The delegation was welcomed by Fener al-Geit, Deputy Co-Chair of the Foreign Relations Commission, Khaled Ibrahim, a member of the Commission’s Administrative Body, and Lana Hussein, a representative of the Women’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Jin, YPJ).
The discussions between the two parties covered the pressing humanitarian situation in the region, particularly the negative effects of the Turkish airstrikes targeting vital civilian infrastructure. Both sides underscored the immense sacrifices made by AANES in the ongoing battle against ISIS.
In related news, US Envoy to the US-led International Coalition Chris Lundberg commended the ongoing repatriation efforts during a panel discussion at the Institute of Middle East Studies. He described these operations as a “remarkable progress”, highlighting the increase in repatriations from camps in 2023. According to Lundberg, 3,800 individuals have been repatriated to 20 countries this year, compared to 3,000 individuals to 14 countries in 2022.
Lundberg also drew attention to the pressing issue of approximately 25,000 children under the age of 12 who are still residing in the Al-Hol and Roj camps. He stressed the significance of addressing this concern and urged countries worldwide to repatriate their nationals and provide rehabilitation support upon their return.