11 American Citizens Rescued From ISIS War Camps in Syria

A group of ten Americans were returned to their home country by the Biden administration after being held in detention cells and desert camps in Syria by a Kurdish-led force that fought the Islamic State.

The United States has taken in a child, who is believed to be nine years old, and a half-brother, who is not yet a citizen, making history as the first non-citizen to be admitted from a combat zone.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken announced the transfer early Tuesday in a statement. He described it as a resettlement and complex repatriation involving eleven American citizens. Five minors are in the group. One is a 9-year-old who is not a U.S. citizen but is a sibling of another minor who is a U.S. citizen.

So far, this repatriation of Americans from northeast Syria has been the biggest of its kind.

Tens of thousands of individuals are still held captive by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group commanded by Kurds, in northeastern Syria, as a result of the fall of the ISIS caliphate. The displaced persons camps are home to some 45,000 individuals, primarily children and women. The camp population includes around 17,000 Syrians, 18,750 Iraqis, and 9,000 people identified as “third-country nationals” from more than 60 other countries. Some of the adult males may have gone to Iraq or Syria from the US or Europe, but the majority are believed to have joined the Islamic State.

It is difficult to convince governments to accept Kurdish militia captives since the group does not have complete and accurate records of all the persons it is keeping and because many of the youngsters have mixed ancestry.

By welcoming the nine-year-old kid, who is not a citizen but has a connection to the nation via his brother, the United States hopes to set an example for other countries.