It was the daily Het Nieuwsblad that broke the news that has meanwhile been confirmed by the office of the asylum minister. The children are aged two and four. Their mother is incarcerated in a Turkish prison.
The children were born to a Belgian woman from Beringen, who travelled to the IS caliphate in Syria six years ago. There the woman became pregnant after marrying a jihadi fighter, who was later killed in Syria. The woman fled to Turkey in 2017 where she received a ten year prison sentence for terrorist activity.
The children have been stuck in limbo in Turkey. Their grandmother, Rachma, visits them regularly and has been trying to bring them to Belgium "because they belong here".
The children were born in Syria and possessed no Belgian birth certificate or IDs and as a result couldn't come here. Their grandmother took the matter to court where a judge ordered Belgium to provide travel documents.
Belgium is also involved in talks with Kurds in northern Syria with regard to bringing six further children to Belgium. An estimated 115 children of Belgian IS fighters are believed still to be in Syria or Iraq.