Former Australian IS members are the subject of talks in northeastern Syria

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June 23, 2019 07:31:06

An Australian official visited northern Syria to discuss what to do with Australian citizens who were members of the Islamic State (IS) group and their children.

Key points

  • Philip said that Australia has favored an international response to deal with former IS foreign fighters and their children
  • Dozens of Australians remain in detention in northern Syria
  • Philip did not say if his visit was to discuss the repatriation of Australians

Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria said they hosted Australian foreign affairs officer John Philip, who told local media that Australia has fostered an international response to resolve the cases of 8,000 women and children foreigners and 1,000 alleged foreign fighters detained in the region.

"All foreign fighters, all families of foreign fighters who are still in the camps, no country can think of only their own," said Philip.

"There must be a solution for the entire self-governing region to ensure that the fields do not remain here forever in this intractable and difficult way."

Dozens of Australians remain in detention in northern Syria, but Philip did not say if his visit was to discuss their repatriation, particularly the orphaned children of Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf.

"Every family is important," he said.

"We need to deal with each family and assist the self-managing region that cares for each one."

A Kurdish-dominated coalition led the fight against the Islamic state, but now the Kurds are struggling to confront the surrendered members and their families.

The Kurdish regional administration, known as the autonomous democratic administration of northern and eastern Syria (DAA), is not internationally recognized, but its cooperation is essential for the repatriation of foreign citizens.

Abdulkarim Omar, the common head of foreign relations for the DAA, stated that relations with Australia are positive.

"Australia is a great country and a partner in the international coalition that fights terrorism with us, it has played such an important role in fighting terror and the official visit is important to the Australian foreign affairs representative," he said.

Other countries that have sent Kurdish delegations, such as France and Sweden, have repatriated some of their citizens, especially children.

Aid groups are warning of terrible conditions for families detained in camps in northeastern Syria, and Kurdish authorities reported that children on ABC 300 had died there since March.

Omar indicated that the DAA was trying to prosecute IS members in Syria.

"These criminals carried out massacres in this area and were arrested here in this area," he said.

"We have all the evidence, we have all the information and we have eyewitnesses to prove it."

Themes:

conflict and war disorders,

terrorism,

international law,

law-crime-and-justice,

Syrian Arab Republic

First published

June 23, 2019 06:58:07

. (tagToTranslate) Islamic State (t) Syria (t) Syrian Defense Force (t) iraq (t) australia (t) khaled sharrouf (t) autonomous democratic administration of northern and eastern Syria

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