Azerbaijani embassy: There are many children and wives of Azerbaijani militants in Iraq
In Iraq, there are many children whose fathers are Azerbaijani militants fighting for the banned radical terrorist organization the Islamic State (IS). There are also many Azerbaijani women in Iraq who are the militants' wives, the Azerbaijani embassy in Iraq said.
Azerbaijani diplomats are working to get the children and women back to Azerbaijan as soon as possible.
"We are in talks with relevant Iraqi agencies. We are in contact with this country's Foreign Ministry. Many of the children don't have documents. Some of them were born in Iraq and know nothing about themselves or their parents. We need to identify them and collect documents. It all takes time and effort," the embassy official said.
Efforts are currently under way to gather the militants' children in one shelter in order to make the work easier. Things are far more complicated regarding their mothers - they are being kept in camps because they are dangerous. Some of them were directly involved in terrorist operations carried out by Islamic State.
The embassy said that Iraqi law-enforcement agencies are not allowing anyone to meet with the women.
"First of all, we've made sure that the children and women receive the medical care they need. Some of the children are wounded and some are ill. We have provided them with food. On 21 September, we are meeting members of the International Committee of the Red Cross who will help us establish contact with Azerbaijani women who are being held in camps," the embassy said.
Little children of Azerbaijani militants were found in a shelter in Baghdad recently. The children are Abdulla, who is three years old, and Khadija, who is two years old. Their parents have been killed. Azerbaijani embassy officials in Iraq are taking care of them.
As of today, more than 80 citizens of Azerbaijan have been arrested upon their return to Azerbaijan for participating in military action abroad as members of terrorist organizations. Another 151 supporters of terrorists have been stripped of Azerbaijani citizenship under the law "On citizenship."
According to a Soufan Group report, the official number of IS fighters from Azerbaijan is 104, but unofficially there may be 216.
Madat Guliyev, the head of Azerbaijan's State Security Service, said in March 2017 that, according to official statistics, about 900 citizens of Azerbaijan had joined the terrorists in Syria and Iraq under the influence of radical organizations.
In May 2017, it was reported that the Russian Federal Security Service had provided the Azerbaijani special services with information about 100 citizens of the country who were taking part in combat operations on the side of the terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
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