Syria Kurds say 2 women, children from IS families repatriated to US

Beirut (AFP) –


Syria's Kurds said two American women and six children from families of suspected Islamic State group members were repatriated to the United States on Wednesday from a crowded camp in northeast Syria.

The transfer was carried out "at the request of the US government and based... on the free and voluntary desire of the American citizens to return to their country without any pressure or coercion," spokesman Kamal Akef said in a statement.

Akef told AFP the eight were from "IS families" staying in the Al-Hol camp, which is home to nearly 74,000 people from more than 40 countries.

The camp's residents include suspected IS members, their families as well as regular civilians who were forced out of their homes by successive US-backed assaults against the last bastions of the IS "caliphate".

Some of the evacuees from IS areas have been repentant, but others have made clear their allegiance to IS remains intact, turning Al-Hol into a tinderbox.

On Monday, Kurdish authorities handed over five Norwegian orphans who had been stranded in the same camp, following a visit by a delegation from Oslo.

They also started sending home 800 Syrian women and children who had been evacuated from the IS proto-state, before it was declared defeated on March 23.