Denmark Repatriates 11-Month-Old Boy Reportedly Orphaned in Syria

The Danish government has repatriated an 11-month-old boy after his mother, who was linked to the Islamic State terrorist group, was killed in the Syria conflict.The child arrived in Copenhagen on Nov. 21 from Irbil in northern Iraq after a nearly nin...

The Danish government has repatriated an 11-month-old boy after his mother, who was linked to the Islamic State terrorist group, was killed in the Syria conflict.

The child arrived in Copenhagen on Nov. 21 from Irbil in northern Iraq after a nearly nine-month effort by relatives and the Danish government, authorities say.

They also say the child, identified as Bay T, was being held at the Al-Hol refugee camp in northern Syria since March of this year, when his mother died.

Baby T's grandfather, who could not be named, told VOA Somali that the child was now being treated at a hospital for vomiting and diarrhea.

"The boy has gone through a lot; he is a child without a mother, without a father, he needs a lot of assistance, and he is in a difficult condition."

"He is the son of my late daughter," said the grandfather during a telephone interview.

The boy's mother left Denmark in October 2015 to join Islamic State. While in Syria, she met the father of her child, who also joined the terror group. The mother was killed in an airstrike, according to her father. Kurdish fighters rescued the child and brought him to the Al-Hol camp.

It is not clear what happened to the boy's father, who had also joined Islamic State. According to the boy's grandfather, the family was given conflicting accounts of the child's father. At one time, the grandfather was told that the father was injured and had lost a leg and a hand. At another time, they also heard that he was killed.

The child's parents were not Danish citizens, according to the relatives. The child's mother traveled to Denmark in 2002 from Somalia, and went to Syria when she was 19. She was in the process of becoming a naturalized citizen when she traveled to Syria in 2015. It is not known which country the child's father traveled from before heading to Syria.

"The Danish government has immensely helped us trace and bring him over," said the grandfather.

"We traveled to Irbil on Tuesday last week along with my daughter, we brought him back on Thursday," he said. "I'm in debt to the Danish government, which helped us with everything they could."

In neighboring Germany, a 30-year old mother of three was returned from Syria over the weekend. The mother was only identified as Laura H., from Hesse state, who traveled to Syria in 2016 along with her husband, a U.S. citizen of Somali origin, according to the French news agency. The man was reportedly killed in Syria.

Laura H. may not have been the first adult IS member returned to Germany, according to authorities. The families of Somali women and men who went to Syria and have a social media network told VOA Somali that a woman of Somali origin was one of two female IS members returned to Germany in mid-November.

A family friend says the Somali woman is in the custody of authorities in Hesse state.

VOA Somali service's Investigative Dossier program has obtained a list of 23 women and 34 children who are now being held at al-Hol camp in Syria. Their families want the Somali government to take them in.

Source: Voice of America