Spain repatriates 2 women, 13 children from Syrian camps

January 10, 2023 GMT

MADRID (AP) — Spain has repatriated two women and 13 children from refugee camps in Syria, the European country’s foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave no personal information about the 15 individuals. Spanish newspaper El País said that women, both Spanish citizens, were widows of fighters for the Islamic State group. The newspaper said nine of the children were the women’s and four were orphans under the care of one of them.

The ministry would not confirm those details but said police met the women upon their arrival at Torrejón airbase outside Madrid. It said the pair were to stand before a National Court judge who would “proceed to legalize their judicial situation.”

The children were taken in by Madrid region social services, the ministry said.

The ministry said the repatriation “had taken several months due to the complexity and conditions of risk in the Syrian camps.”

Other European nations have brought children and women back from Syria since the territorial defeat of IS in March 2019.