British child rescued from Syria

British child rescued from Syria


A woman walks in the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp in the al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on August 25, 2020, where families of Islamic State (IS) foreign fighters are held.
A woman walks in the Kurdish-run al-Hol camp in the al-Hasakeh governorate in northeastern Syria on August 25, 2020, where families of Islamic State (IS) foreign fighters are held.

A British child caught up in the Islamic State conflict in Syria has been rescued from the country, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.

“Pleased we have been able to bring home a British child from Syria. As I have said previously, we assess each case carefully,” Mr Raab said on Twitter this morning. 

“Safely facilitating the return of orphans or unaccompanied British children, where possible, is the right thing to do,” he added. 

For legal reasons, further details about the rescued child cannot be reported.

The repatriation team, led by Martin Longden, the UK’s Syria envoy, left Syria with the child on Tuesday. 

The government has been reluctant to allow any Brits who lived under ISIL’s ‘caliphate’ back into the UK, leaving them in overcrowded camps with deteriorating health and security conditions. 

Tuesday’s rescue, though, was part of the British government’s efforts to repatriate British orphans or unaccompanied minors who have been caught up in the fallout from the conflict with ISIL. 

Last year Save the Children said as many as 60 British unaccompanied minors may be in Syria. It is unclear how many of them have been brought home since the government announced it was taking steps to start the process late last year, but it is thought to only be a few. Dozens of British women are also in the camps, who the British government refuse to repatriate. 

“Their short lives have been full of violence and fear but with the right care they can bounce back, recover and amaze us. They deserve that chance, no matter what they’ve been dragged into by the decisions of adults,” Save the Children spokesman Alison Griffin said at the time. 

“For the British children among them we can and must give them the safety they need by bringing them to be cared for in the UK.”

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