Iraq hands over to Russia 4 women, 27 children linked to ISIL
ARBIL – Reuters
Iraq has handed over to Russia four women and 27 children suspected of having ties to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), local television broadcaster Al-Sumaria quoted the foreign ministry as saying on Feb. 22.
Iraq is currently conducting the trials of hundreds of foreign women who have been detained, along with hundreds of their children, since August by Iraqi forces as ISIL strongholds crumbled.
“Iraq has returned to Russia 27 children and 4 women who were tricked into joining Daesh,” the ministry spokesman told reporters, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.
The women and children were investigated by authorities who concluded that they did not participate in “terrorist operations against civilians and Iraqi security forces,” the spokesman said, adding that “they will be prosecuted in Russia for entering Iraq illegally.”
Thousands of foreigners fought on behalf of ISIL in Iraq and Syria since at least 2014. Many foreign women came - or were brought - from overseas to join the militants.
More than 1,300 women and children surrendered to Kurdish Peshmerga in August, after government forces expelled the jihadist group from the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar.