Uzbekistan repatriates women and children from Syria camp
The government of Uzbekistan completed the repatriation of 24 women and 69 children from war-torn Syria on Friday.
The repatriation operation, known as “Operation Mexr 5,” is the fifth such operation in recent years. Operation Mexr 1, 2, 3 and 4 repatriated a total of 438 women and children in similar circumstances in Syria as well as Iraq and Afghanistan. Mexr is the Uzbek word for love.
The women and children who returned to Uzbekistan tonight had been living in deplorable conditions in the Al-Hol camp in northern Syria.
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has taken the decision that these women and children, regardless of how they found themselves in Syria, deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion. The Uzbek government noted that the operation was carried out during the holy month of Ramadan.
The women and children returned to Uzbekistan will be housed in the Buston health facility on the outskirts of Tashkent and be offered all necessary medical, psychological and social assistance.
Among the 69 children repatriated today are seven orphans who have lost both parents. In February, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) urged all nations to repatriate children from the “notorious” Al-Hol camp.