Dutch repatriating group of women, children from Syria

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The Dutch government said Thursday it is repatriating five women from Syria who are suspected of terror offenses, along with their 11 children.

The justice and foreign ministers said in a letter to Parliament that a “special operation” was underway to bring the women and children back to the Netherlands.

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Once they arrive, the women will be “arrested so that they can be prosecuted” while their children will be cared for by a child welfare organization.

“With the transportation to the Netherlands, the Cabinet aims to prevent impunity for these five suspects,” Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius and Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said in their letter to lawmakers.

European countries have been reluctant to repatriate their nationals living in camps for suspected ISIS militants and their families, fearing there is not enough evidence to try those who had joined the militant group, or that they maintain links to ISIS.

The Dutch government moved to bring back the five suspects after a court in Rotterdam said last year it could drop the cases against them if they were not repatriated within a matter of months.

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