110 Kosovars, mostly children and women, returned from Syria


20th April, 2019 04:16:11 printer

110 Kosovars, mostly children and women, returned from Syria


Kosovo authorities said Saturday they have brought back from Syria 110 Kosovar citizens, mostly women and children, with the assistance of the United States.


Justice Minister Abelard Tahiri, top policeman Rashit Qalaj and a health official told journalists early Saturday that a planned operation to bring back some of our citizens from Syria ended successfully bringing back four alleged fighters with the Islamic State group, 32 women and 74 children, without giving more details due to the sensitivity of the case.


Nine children had lost parents during the fighting in Syria.


The group has been taken to a center in Vranidoll, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the capital Pristina, to be taken care of before sent to homes in the next 72 hours.


The four suspected fighters were arrested.


Tahiri said a task force was created in October in close cooperation with the United States.


Our message is clear: The Kosovo government will strongly continue to prevent and fight violent extremism and terrorism, he said.


The minister considered the women and children to be innocent victims, adding that the authorities had plans to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.


More than 400 Kosovars initially joined extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, but none has left in the past three years, according to Kosovo authorities.


Qalaj said that 30 Kosovo citizens are still actively supporting the groups there, and there are also 49 women and eight children.


We shall not allow our citizens to turn into a threat to the Western world and will take all to ensure that those accountable face the law, Tahiri said, adding that there is no amnesty for any person, be it a woman or a man, who has committed an extremist or t