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Kurdish authorities confirmed they found a Canadian orphan Amira, 4-years- old. She is being detained at al-Hol detention camp. Trudeau said it was “too dangerous” for Canada to rescue her, according to a recent article by CTV News.
“Right now we’ve qualified it as too dangerous for Canadian officials to go into Syria and into those refugee camps,” he said in a CTV interview with Lisa LaFlamme.
For almost a year, Amira has been in the ISIS detention camp in northeastern Syria. She was discovered wandering all by herself in the town of Baghouz, Syria. Her family moved from Canada in 2014 to Syria so they could fight for ISIS. Her family was killed in an airstrike. Trudeau admitted that he was aware of the little girl’s story.
Amira was living with a surrogate family. Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale has called her living situation “horrendous.”
There are more than 11,000 foreign women and children of ISIS fighters detained in the camp, many of whom lack access to medical care and water. Approximately 33 Canadian women and children are detained in al-Hol and a second camp closeby. That is a conservative estimate.
Amira still has family in Canada including an uncle and her grandparents who have been pressuring the Canadian government to retrieve her for months. They have cited other cases in other countries such as France, Australia, and Sweden as examples of countries that managed to send personnel to return the women and children left behind after war with the caliphate.
The government had originally demanded Amira’s family must undergo a DNA test to prove that she is a Canadian citizen as a stipulation before she could be issued travel papers. Such a test would take months, at the least.
Amira’s uncle was determined to travel to Syria himself this past summer in an effort to bring his niece home to Canada. Kurdish Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulkarim Omar told him not to, however, advising that he wait until Amira’s location was confirmed exactly. Her uncle wishes to remain anonymous.
Amira’s location was, in fact, confirmed over the weekend by Kurdish authorities.
“We informed the Canadian authorities about her whereabouts,” Omar said. “The Canadian government is aware of Amira’s situation right now.”
So far, Canada has not sent a formal request for the child’s release. Her uncle hoping that will change in light of this new information. “Now that she’s found, we’d hoped immediate action would take place and that she could be home as soon as possible,” Amira’s uncle said.