"Two toddlers abducted to Syria by their mother"

A young Muslim woman from the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek has packed her bags and left for Syria. She also took her two sons with her. That's according to several press reports. The organisation for Missing and Exploited Children, Child Focus, says it will not be easy to get the toddlers back.
(Syria refugees: archive picture)

The boys are 3 and 5 years of age. Their mother has reportedly reached the border between Turkey and Syria already, where she will try to get into war-torn Syria as soon as possible. It is not clear whether she may have got in already, or whether she is still waiting. The children's father told reporters that she adopted extremist ideas in recent times. It is feared that she will join jihadist movements in Syria.

Child Focus would like to get the infants back, but it will be virtually impossible to get them out of Syria. "An international parental abduction to Syria is of course more complicated than to other countries", Heidi De Pauw of Child Focus told the VRT. "For other countries, we can rely on the The Hague Treaty, which states that a child should be returned to its normal place of residence. In other cases, we can ask for diplomatic assistance, but this is not possible in Syria at present."

The father travelled to Turkey in an attempt to find his offspring before they end up in Syria. It is feared that the children will end up in an extremist jihadi school.