Paris urgently repatriates a French child from north-eastern Syria

Taymia, a seven-year-old French child who lived in the Al-Hol refugee camp in north-eastern Syria, was sent to France on the night of Wednesday, April 22 to Thursday, April 23, suffering from a double congenital heart defect. . As the girl’s health has deteriorated in the past two weeks, her mother has agreed to part with her so that she can be repatriated urgently. French authorities did not allow the mother and her three other children to accompany her. Taymia was hospitalized in a specialist unit when she arrived in France, explains the lawyer Ludovic Rivière, who claims the repatriation of the whole family.

Born in Toulouse, Taymia had been taken to Syria in 2014 at the age of a year and a half, with her twin sister and a little brother, by their mother, who left to join her husband, a French jihadist, within the "caliphate" self-proclaimed from the Islamic State Organization (IS). Already operated twice in France with an open heart, the child has never been able to benefit from appropriate care in Syria. Since February 2019 and the fall of IS, she has been living in precarious conditions, in a tent in Al-Hol camp, among the families of foreign jihadists.

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Two weeks ago, she was diagnosed with severe hypoxemia, a decrease in blood oxygen levels, by the Syrian Red Crescent. “She is cyanotic and repeatedly gets sick. She risks having a cardiac arrest or a cardiovascular accident ”, specifies Me River. Neither the Syrian Red Crescent nor the national hospital in Hassaké, the town closest to the camp, has equipment and personnel for cardiac surgery and resuscitation for the care of the child.

Repatriation on a case by case basis

Me Rivière, who has been calling for the family's repatriation since April 2019, has once again called on the French authorities to face the urgency of the situation. Paris applies a case-by-case repatriation policy for children, which has led to the return of 17 of them previously, mostly unaccompanied minors and orphans. Some 300 children and a hundred French women are still in the Al-Hol and Roj camps.

The girl was in "A particularly vulnerable situation", comments the Quai d 'Orsay, which welcomes the assistance provided by the autonomous administration of north-eastern Syria, the regional government of Kurdistan and the Iraqi authorities. According to a diplomatic source, the child was taken to Iraq by the Syrian Democratic Forces – a coalition dominated by Kurdish fighters – then taken into care until Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, by the Iraqi authorities. where she joined France by medical plane.

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