According to a source inside the diplomatic community, France has completed the repatriation of all of the French women and children who were being held in jihadist prison camps in Syria maintained by the Kurdish people and will no longer be organizing any additional planes to bring them back home.
The latest state-organized flight, which followed worldwide pressure on nations to take back their citizens who traveled to territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group from 2014-2019, landed back in France on Tuesday, bringing with it another 10 women and 25 children. This flight was the result of international pressure on countries to take back their people.
“Having repatriated all of the mothers who wanted to leave Syria, there will not be any more of these types of operations,” a diplomatic source told AFP on Friday, requesting that they remain anonymous. “There will not be any more of these types of operations.”
According to the source, since IS lost all of its territory in 2019, a total of 169 children and 57 women have been transported back to France. However, some individuals are declining the invitation to be flown back to France.
“Some very radicalized mothers have explicitly said they want to stay in Syria,” the source added, referring to the estimated 80 women who did not want to come home. “Some very radicalized mothers have explicitly said they want to stay in Syria,” the source said.
All individuals who come back to France are subject to judicial investigations, including possible charges of terrorism, while their children are either placed with relatives or given to the care of the state.
In Western countries, particularly in France, which has been hit by a spate of terrorist assaults since 2015, the topic of how to return families of Islamic State fighters who were either caught or slain has been a contentious one.
For a long time, the French government refused to allow the bulk repatriation of children and wives, instead choosing to handle each individual situation on an individual basis, which rights groups criticized as being purposefully sluggish.