Russian authorities say 30 children born to Russian members of the Takfiri Daesh terror groups have arrived in Moscow from Baghdad.
A Russian diplomatic source said on Sunday that the mothers of the children, aged three to ten years old, are held in Iraqi prisons, while their fathers are believed to have been killed on the battlefield against Iraqi forces.
“The plane of the Russian emergency situations ministry has landed” at Moscow's Zhukovsky airport, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said on his Telegram account.
He stressed that the arrival of the kids was “undeniable proof of the rigorous fulfillment of the mission set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin to save the women and children in Syria and Iraq.”
“If we do not bring them home, they will become the target of the special services of other countries,” Kadyrov added.
According to the Chechen leader, 24 of the children were from Dagestan, and another three were from Chechnya.
The development came after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday met with Anna Kuznetsova, the Russian president’s envoy for the rights of children, in Baghdad.
According to a statement from his office, the premier stressed that a “distinction should be made between humanitarian issues and terrorist crimes,” adding, “These children are also victims.”
Since last year, about 100 women and children have returned under a program championed by Kadyrov.
More than 1,000 Russian women, who had been married to Daesh Takfiri militants, are now requesting repatriation to their home country.
Earlier this month, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said Moscow has received over 1,000 requests from the widows of Daesh terrorists to return home.
She further noted that the repatriation of the Daesh widows is a difficult process, given the fact that they have been involved in acts of terror and their return could pose a threat to the safety of Russian citizens.
More than 300 people, including about 100 foreigners, have received death sentence and many others have been sentenced to life in prison in Iraq for joining Daesh.
Several thousand Russian citizens, mainly from Chechnya, traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Takfiri militants, according to estimates from the Russian security services. Many of them took their families with them.
Russian authorities consider the Chechen militants fighting abroad a serious threat if they manage to get back to Russian territory.
Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.
The terror group lost all the territories under its grip back to the Iraqi army. Baghdad declared full victory against Daesh in December 2017.