BEIRUT: More than 2,500 foreign children from 30 countries who have fled the Daesh group’s last redoubts are living in desperate conditions in camps in northeastern Syria, Save the Children said on Thursday.

The charity urged their countries of origin to “take action to ensure the safety of their citizens” as US-backed forces battle Daesh in the final sliver of territory it holds near the Iraqi border.

“They need specialised help to recover from their experiences and return to normality, together with their families,” the charity said.

“This is impossible in overwhelmed displacement camps in a volatile warzone. The international community must act now before it is too late.”

It said the children, including 38 unaccompanied minors, were from families “with perceived or actual associations” with the Daesh group.

They were separated from others in the camps, affecting their access to aid and services.

“Harsh winter conditions have left the camps in a desperate state, with children facing life-threatening risks,” it said.

The children are “victims of the conflict and must be treated as such”, said Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria response director.

“All states whose nationals are trapped in Syria must take responsibility for their citizens.”

The charity said the children had already been deprived of adequate medical care and food for months or even years while in Daesh-held areas, even before having reached the displacement camps.

Agence France-Presse

 




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