Thirty-five French citizen Islamic State (ISIS) family members have been returned to France from camps in northeastern Syria, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.
France expressed gratitude to the Kurdish Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES) for facilitating the repatriation process.
This marks the fourth repatriation of French citizens from Syria and consists of 10 women and 25 children.
On arrival in France the children were handed over to the care of social services, while the adults were transferred to judicial authorities, the ministry added.
According to the French Foreign Ministry, originally the women had voluntarily travelled to ISIS strongholds in Syria and Iraq, were arrested by Kurdish-led forces following the defeat of the extremist group, and taken to a camp in the region.
The camps in northeastern Syria currently house tens of thousands of individuals, both ISIS fighters and affiliates, with over 60 different nationalities.
France has faced criticism from international bodies for the slow pace of repatriation of its nationals from northern Syria. During the initial repatriation process in the summer of 2022, 16 women and 35 children were brought back to France. This was followed by a second group in October, which included 15 women and 40 children.
In January of this year, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the third repatriation effort, consisting of 15 women and 32 children, shortly after facing condemnation from the United Nations.