- Title: Red Cross urges States to take back fighters, families in northern Syria
- Date: 9th October 2019
- Summary: AKCAKALE, TURKEY (OCTOBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TURKISH SOLDIERS STANDING BY ARTILLERY WITH GUN BARRELS POINTED TOWARDS SYRIA GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (OCTOBER 9, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, FABRIZIO CARBONI, TALKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICRC REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, FABRIZIO CARBONI, SAYING: "Our message to all states who have citizens in those camps is to take responsibility, to be courageous, because we know it is a major political and security challenge, we are totally aware of this. But I believe that the last hours showed that the status quo cannot be, it is not an option. Something needs to happen and they are foreigners, they are westerners, they are Syrians, it is very complex. But I still believe that if you look at all the population in these camps, the situation of the westerners is probably the easiest one to solve." CARBONI TALKING TO JOURNALIST (SOUNDBITE) (English) ICRC REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE MIDDLE EAST, FABRIZIO CARBONI, SAYING: "The bulk of our work today is mainly in the camps where you have all those families and fighters from the Islamic Sate group. It is obviously a big concern, this probable increased violence in northeast Syria, because this camp is a very fragile environment, the condition of the people in the camp is also fragile. The situation is already very difficult to manage today, so if we imagine that tomorrow there would be instability, violence, conflict, it could be impossible to manage."
- Embargoed: 23rd October 2019 15:38
- Keywords: Syria Turkey Islamic State ICRC military refugees
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND/ AKCAKALE, TURKEY/ AL HOL CAMP, NORTH EAST SYRIA
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND/ AKCAKALE, TURKEY/ AL HOL CAMP, NORTH EAST SYRIA
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA001B0DMTL3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Countries must reclaim their citizens held in camps in northeast Syria, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) told Reuters on Wednesday (October 9), as Turkish forces launched an incursion.
An estimated 100,000 people - defeated fighters of Islamic State and their families - are held in and around camps in the region, including 68,000 in al-Hol camp, Fabrizio Carboni, ICRC regional director for the Near and Middle East, said.
They are captured Islamic State fighters - Syrian, Iraqi, and foreigners from dozens of other countries - as well as their wives and children, under the custody of Syrian Kurdish forces since U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took the jihadist group's last enclave. Two-thirds are children.
"Their parents were either killed or wounded and they are today in a place which is really not made for kids. So you can imagine the trauma those kids have suffered, are still suffering," Carboni said a day ahead of World Mental Health Day.
Few countries have seemed willing to take back their citizens, who may be hard to prosecute, and the issue has led to fierce debate in their home countries where there is little public sympathy for the families of jihadists.
The Kurdish-led SDF said Turkish warplanes struck Syria's northeast, sparking "huge panic among people" on Wednesday. World powers fear an incursion could open a new chapter in Syria's war and worsen regional turmoil.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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