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Operation “Zhusan”; Repatriation of ISIS Fighters Children

From January to June, 2019, the “Zhusan” operation was carried out to withdraw Kazakh citizens from Syria, who were previously involved in the “Islamic state” and were held captive by Kurdish groups of “Syrian democratic forces”.

Translated from the Kazakh language, the name “Zhusan” means “bitter wormwood”, which for nomads is associated with the smell of the homeland.

This underlines the humanitarian character of the entire rescue operation, primarily of women and children, who became victims of terrorism.

A total of 595 Kazakh citizens, including 33 men, 156 women and 406 children (including 31 orphans), were evacuated from Syria as part of the four phases of “Zhusan” operation in January, May and June.

Upon arrival in Kazakhstan, 45 people (33 men and 12 women) were arrested for their involvement in terrorism, and four more women were released on the pledge not to leave country.

Through this operation, Kazakhstan has made a practical contribution to international efforts to ensure the principle of inevitability of punishment for DAESH militants, eliminating the risk of their return to terrorist activities.

The other women and children entered a special rehab center for a period of one month in a resort zone on the coast of the Caspian Sea.

With the participation of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, clergy and volunteers, measures were taken to rehabilitate them. Medical, psychological and social assistance was provided.

At the end of the adaptation period, some of them returned to their previous places of residence. Orphans were handed over to guardians among close relatives.

Their rehabilitation is being continued by specially created regional centers, which involve lawyers, theologians, teachers and experts in the field of child, women and religious psychology.

Some women who arrived from Syria abandoned their wrongful past, found a job, and re-established ties with their relatives. The children went to schools and kindergartens. The resumption of terrorist activities are not recorded.

The humanitarian operation, according to preliminary estimates, had an appreciable preventive effect on the religious part of Kazakhstani society and citizens in Syria.

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