The Kurdish authorities in northern Syria Sunday handed over to Russia Chechen women and children found in Raqqa city which was retaken in October from militants, an AFP correspondent said.
Kurdish and Arab fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces alliance announced on October 17 they had regained full control of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the ISIS group in northern Syria.
After its explosive rise in 2014 and conquest of vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, ISIS established a “caliphate” that attracted thousands of foreign fighters, including from Chechnya.
“We are officially handing over ISIS families to the Russian state,” Nuri Mahmud, spokesperson for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the SDF, told reporters in Qamishli in the northeast province of Hasakeh.
Abdel Karim Amr, an official with the autonomous Kurdish authorities in the area, told AFP: “We have handed over Russian citizens whose hands were not tainted by the blood of Syrians.”
He said 13 women and 29 children were transferred to Russian officials.