Dutch IS-wife Ilham B. with three children picked up from Syria

A Dutch IS-wife from Gouda and three children are taken from Syria by a Dutch delegation. They stayed in a Kurdish prison camp.

They are Ilham B, from Gouda, her two children and a third child whose parents are not yet known. That‘s what B.’s lawyer, Tamara Buruma, says to DeccEit.

The Dutch Syrian envoy Emiel de Bont and at least one Dutch representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in Qamishli, near the Turkish border.

Here you can see the arrival of the Dutch delegation in the area:

At a press conference De Bont took the floor. โ€œWe are here with a clear mandate, to pick up a small group of Dutch people,โ€ he said. He referred to judgments in court cases that allow the Dutch to be picked up. They are now transferred to the Iraqi city of Erbil, where there is a Dutch consulate.

The Ministry of Justice and Security in The Hague does not yet want to explain the matter. Later a statement follows, says a spokesman.

Look below for a part of De Bont‘s statement during the press conference. Next to him are a Kurdish official and an interpreter:

The Dutch government has long been struggling to bring back IS-women and their children. As far as B. is concerned, the judge said last year that the Netherlands did not make enough efforts to bring her back. B., hailing from Gouda, has been prosecuted in the Netherlands since March 2016 because she travelled to the caliphate and joined terrorist organisation IS. She cannot be condemned in absentia because she wants to be present at the hearing.

VVD-MP Michon and PVV-leader Wilders have no understanding for the transfer:

D66-MEP Van der Werf is positive on Twitter: she calls it good for the safety of the Netherlands to try IS-women here and prevent them from disappearing from radar. โ€œNot least for their children who live under appalling conditions and are recruited by IS.โ€ The children’s ombudswoman has also been calling for children to be brought back for years. Human Rights Watch argued earlier for bringing back especially the youngest children.

Earlier brought children

This is the second time that Dutch children have been brought back from Syria. In 2019, two Dutch orphans together with twelve French children were picked up from Syria by the French government. The children stayed in a camp โ€œunder appalling conditions and without any form of parental authorityโ€.


the time, the cabinet said that it did not intend to bring more children from Syria-gangers to the Netherlands. Receiving the orphans of 2 and 4 years old was a โ€œvery special caseโ€, stressed the then Foreign Minister Bloc at that time, among other things because a heavily guarded French mission was already planning to pick up other orphans.

In total, according to the latest report of the AIVD (of October 2020), some 120 passengers are still in Syria and Iraq. There are also at least 210 children of at least one Dutch parent in the area.