Tag Archives: orphans

British orphans missing in northern Syria after mass escape of Islamic State families

British orphans missing in northern Syria after mass escape of Islamic State familiesThree British Islamic State orphans have gone missing in northern Syria after the camp they were in was shelled by Turkish forces. Ten-year-old Amira, her sister Hiba, eight, and brother Hamza, around the same age as Hiba, were discovered in the Kurdish-run Ain Issa camp by a BBC reporting team last week.  But they vanished on Sunday after hundreds of women linked the caliphate fled the camp in what Kurdish-led forces described as a mass escape facilitated by Turkish forces.   They had been living with 21 other orphans at the camp since they were evacuated from the wreckage of Baghouz, Isil's last redoubt, in March. The three siblings, whose surname is unknown, emerged from Isil's last stand bearing physical and emotional scars but still able to speak some English. Their parents, older brother, and two other sisters were killed in the battle.  Their parents, who have not been identified, brought the family to Isil's so-called Capilphate in Syria five years ago.  In an interview with the BBC, Amira, who still has traces of a London accent and is able to write, painstakingly wrote out the place she once called home: "LaNDN uKeH" — London, UK. Describing her pre-war life, she said: “I go to the park, I go to grand-mum’s house, I go to the fun fair." The family entered Syria around five years ago, travelling to Aleppo, on to Raqqa and then down the Euphrates river valley, ending up in Baghouz.   Human rights watchdogs have heaped pressure on the international community, particularly Western countries, to repatriate their citizens from Syria. Few have done so, and the UK has revoked the citizenship of high-profile militants and Isil supporters, including Shamima Begum.   The case for orphans is more complex, and both France and the Netherlands have permitted the return of child nationals whose parents took them to Syria to join the terror group, but died there.  In the hours after the Ain Issa camp was overrun, aid agency Save the Children made a plea with countries to repatriate their citizens, particularly children, before it was too late.  By Sunday afternoon, Amira, Hiba and Hamza were gone.



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The foreign Isil orphans found under rubble of Mosul's Old City, eating raw meat to survive

The foreign Isil orphans found under rubble of Mosul's Old City, eating raw meat to surviveAmina sits on the makeshift medical examination table staring at her wounds. Her blonde hair matted and caked in dust.  The little girl, who looks no older than three, was pulled out from the rubble of Mosul’s Old City where she had been trapped for days before Iraqi rescue workers heard her faint cries. When they asked where her parents were she replied only that they had become “martyrs”. A little girl named Amina was found by Iraqi Army soldiers when they heard her cries from the rubble. She was believed to be foreign and spoke Russian.  Credit: Carol Guzy/Rex Speaking little Arabic, they believe she is the daughter of Chechen Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters who died in battle. Dozens of children have been pulled, both dead and alive, from the rubble in recent days. Many orphans seem to be children of Isil fighters who either blew themselves up in suicide attacks or were killed by Iraqi forces in the jihadists’ final redoubt.  A little girl named Amina was found by Iraqi Army soldiers when they heard her cries from the rubble. She was believed to be a foreigner and spoke Russian. Credit: Carol Guzy/Rex Commanders say most of those killed in the final days were foreign jihadists who “fought to the last” rather than surrender.  While Haidar al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, declared the battle for Mosul over a week ago, a pocket of diehard Isil fighters still remains in the Old City. US-led coalition air strikes have been used to dislodge them but houses have also been flattened in the process, leaving residents trapped underneath.  Amina is pulled from the rubble by Iraqi rescue workers Credit: Carol Guzy/Rex One young boy was found by soldiers so desperately hungry that he was eating raw meat from the ground, according to photographer Carol Guzy who captured the scene.  Another child taken to the clinic had been rescued after her mother, an Isil fighter, had reportedly blown herself up in a suicide attack. The Chechen girl, whose gave her name as Khadija, told medics treating her that her father had become a “shahid” or martyr.  When asked where her father and mother were she said they were martyrs, probably ISIS fighters killed in the battle or by suicide bomb, Credit: Carol Guzy/Rex “She is now an orphan,” one doctor said.  In the past three days, Unicef, the children’s charity, said it has seen an increase in the number of unaccompanied children arriving at medical facilities. Some babies brought in have been found alone in the debris. “Some children continue to suffer in the pockets of violence that persist in the old part of west Mosul. One doctor we spoke to told us that infants as young as one week old, children and mothers were emerging wounded and covered in dust and soil, some were malnourished,” said Hamida Ramadhani, Unicef’s deputy representative in Iraq. “Although the battle for Mosul is coming to an end, children’s deep physical and mental scars will take time to heal. Some 650,000 boys and girls, who have lived through the nightmare of violence in Mosul, have paid a terrible price and endured many horrors over the past three years.”



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