ERBIL – The seven Chilean children who were stuck in a camp in northwestern Syria have been rescued, Swedish and Chilean media reported. The children lost their parents, who joined the battle for the ISIS caliphate. After their grandfather raised concerns over their wellbeing, the Chilean and Swedish governments got involved and managed to get the children out of Syria.
The seven children of Swedish parents (their mother was the daughter of a Chilean), had no one to take care of them, after their parents died fighting for ISIS. They were trapped in the al-Hawl camp in northwestern Syria. After their grandfather, Patricio Gálvez, raised international attention over the situation of his grandchildren, a process started to get the children out of the camp.
Yesterday it was announced that the children had been transferred to Erbil in Iraq. They met there with their grandfather, who was living in Sweden but is planning on bringing the children to Chile after staying with them in Iraq for the next weeks.
In an item shot by Sweden’s Sveriges Radio, Gonzalez said that the trauma and “horrible experiences” the children went through “will disappear quite quickly.” He added that “it feels wonderful” to be reunited with the children.
De uppmärksammade barnen till IS-terroristen Skråmo har nu återförenats med sin morfar i Erbil. Hör barnens morfar intervjuas av Ekots @ceciliauddenm efter återföreningen i natt. https://t.co/LIntleNv14 pic.twitter.com/QwmWrwoyyJ
— SR Ekot (@sr_ekot) May 8, 2019
Amanda González And Her Swedish Husband
Their mother, a woman called Amanda González, had traveled with her Swedish husband to Syria in 2014 as her husband was active with the terrorist organization ISIS at that time. He recruited warriors from Turkey and helped them get to ISIS camps in Syria. The man moved Amanda González and the four children they had at the time closer to the battlefront.
Amanda González’s husband died in 2018 while fighting for ISIS, and then the woman herself died in early 2019 when the Syrian government bombed the al-Hawl camp in northeastern Syria.
A representative of the family in Chile stated that the children will come to Chile after the three youngest regularize their nationality papers.
Editor-In-Chief Boris van der Spek is the founder of Chile Today. He worked in Colombia, Surinam and the Netherlands as reporter and made appearances on BBC World Services and ABC News during major events in Chile.