Iraq has handed over 188 Turkish children of suspected Islamic State members to Turkey in the presence of government officials from both countries and UNICEF, a judiciary spokesman said on Wednesday, ONA reports citing Reuters.
The handover took place in Baghdad airport and representatives of the Iraqi judiciary were present until the children got on the aeroplane that would take them home, he said. A legal source told Reuters the transfers took place on Wednesday.
“The central investigations court which is responsible for the terrorism file and foreign suspects has handed the Turkish side 188 children left behind by Daesh terrorists in Iraq,” said Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, the spokesman, in a statement.
He added that the figure included a few who had “come of age” and had been convicted of illegally crossing the border and served out their sentences. Children can be held responsible for crimes in Iraq from the age of nine.
An Iraqi foreign ministry official, a representative of the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, and representatives of international organizations including UNICEF were present, Birqdar said.