Baghdad: On Saturday, 168 Iraqi members of terrorist families and 50 Daesh terrorists were returned to Iraq from Syria, according to an Iraqi official.
The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Iraqi authorities "received 50 members of the Daesh from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)".
The SDF, the de facto army of the Kurds in the region, was in charge of the conflict that drove Daesh fighters from the last pockets of their Syrian territory in 2019.
They added that they would "be the focus of investigations" and "face Iraqi justice." They were held captive in northeastern Syria's Hasakah, according to conflict watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Iraqi official also stated that 168 relatives of Daesh group members were relocated from Syria's Al-Hol camp to Al-Jadaa camp south of Mosul where they will receive psychiatric care.
"They will be sent home once we have confirmation from their tribal leaders that they won't face punishment." About 50,000 people live in the Al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, which is under Kurdish control. This number includes suspected terrorists' families.
Syrian refugees, Iraqi refugees, and more than 10,000 foreigners with roots in 60 different nations are among them. Foreign nationals detained in Al-Hol should be returned as soon as possible, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres demanded in March.
The camp's residents are "deprived of their rights, vulnerable, and marginalised," Guterres said in a statement while visiting Iraq. Nearly half of the camp's population is under the age of 12.
According to Guterres, "I have no doubt that the worst camp that exists in the modern world is Al-Hol, with the worst possible living conditions and with enormous suffering for the people that have been stranded there for years."
Hundreds of families have been moved from Al-Hol to Al-Jadaa in Iraq since May 2021, with some of them later fleeing.
Opposition has been raised over the return of family members of fighters who joined the ultra-radical group that ruled over a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017.
Al-Jadaa will be shut down, the Iraqi government announced in December 2021.
However, there hasn't been much progress, and returning displaced people to their home regions has been difficult and met with local resistance.