Nearly 60 women and children have been repatriated from Syrian conflict zones to Kyrgyzstan, the authorities in the Central Asian country said on Thursday.
Thousands of people from predominantly Muslim countries in Central Asia have travelled to Iraq and Syria since 2011 to join the ISIS terrorist group and other extremist organizations.
“The 41 children and 18 women coming from Syrian conflict areas have arrived in Kyrgyzstan,” state-run news agency Kabar said, citing the labor ministry.
The group was accompanied by security services and foreign ministry staff, Kabar said.
The government estimates that at least 800 Kyrgyz citizens have left the former Soviet republic for Syria.
The authorities did not specify where in Syria the women and children had been but said the latter would be placed in a readaptation center.
In March 2021, 79 children born to Kyrgyz parents were repatriated with the consent of their mothers, who remained in Iraq.
Scores of women from Central Asia are serving jail in Iraq for taking part in the activities of extremist organizations.
In many cases, their husbands are assumed to have died in the fighting.
Other former Soviet republics in Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – have also repatriated citizens from Iraq and Syria.
But Turkmenistan, one of the most closed-off countries in the world, has not acknowledged any of its citizen joined those conflicts.