ICRC Says Working With Russia On Aiding Russian Children Held In Iraq

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ICRC Says Working With Russia on Aiding Russian Children Held in Iraq

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working with Russia to establish contacts between Russian children and their family members who are being held in Iraq, Magne Barth, the head of the regional delegation of the ICRC in Russia, Belarus and Moldova told Sputnik on Thursday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 14th March, 2019) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working with Russia to establish contacts between Russian children and their family members who are being held in Iraq, Magne Barth, the head of the regional delegation of the ICRC in Russia, Belarus and Moldova told Sputnik on Thursday.

On February 10, a Russian Emergencies Ministry plane brought to Moscow 27 children who had long remained in Iraqi prisons with their mothers.

"The ICRC is in contact with the relevant Russian authorities in charge of the return of children to the Russian Federation with whom it shares its expertise and humanitarian services mainly in the area of restoring family contact between family members and their loved ones who are in Syria and Iraq. In a number of cases ICRC has facilitated communication between the children and their families prior to repatriation, allowing for a smoother process of return," Barth said.

Barth stated that the ICRC would be willing to provide further assistance or guidance in facilitating the return of Russian children from Iraq if needed.

"We can see that Russia has been active in repatriating kids. With regard to the ICRC, if need be, we stand ready to provide guidance, and practical assistance on how best to proceed, in our usual capacity as a neutral intermediary," Barth said.

The problem of Russian children in Iraq first emerged in 2017 after RT released a story with footage of a Baghdad orphanage housing Russian children whose parents had smuggled them from Russia and were later killed after joining and fighting alongside the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia). So far 57 children have been returned to Russia from Iraq.

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