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Belgian jihadi brides escape from Kurdish detention camp

Six Belgian jihadi brides have escaped from the Kurdish detention camp al-Hawl in north-eastern Syria. The six woman are reported to have made their escape with the help of people traffickers. The news of the women’s escape comes from Heidi De Pauw of Child Focus and has been confirmed by professor Gerrit Loots of Brussels’ Dutch-Medium Free University, who closely monitors the situation in the detention camps in Syria.    

It is still unclear whether the women are on their way back to Belgium. In 2017 the Federal Government decided that the Belgian wives of IS terrorists should not be actively repatriated. In some cases their only means of returning to the country they left to be with their husbands in the self-proclaimed “Caliphate” is to enlist the services of people traffickers as appears to be the case here.      

Human traffickers helped the women escape from al-Hawl. It is not clear whether they are now on Syrian or Iraqi soil.   

Hedi De Pauw told the press agency Belga that "The relevant authorities in Belgium are aware of the situation”.

Professor Loots has heard from his contacts in the camp that a number of European woman had left the camp in recent days.  "My sources also spoke about Belgian women.  

He added that as many of the European women detained in al-Hawl have given up hope of returning legally many are considering making their escape from the camp by enlisting the services of people traffickers.  

The Belgian Foreign Ministry is yet to respond to the news and hasn’t said whether it is aware of the situation.