ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Counter-Terrorism (CT) on Tuesday said they had handed over two Saudi teenagers to the Saudi Consulate-General in Erbil, refuting claims in the Saudi media that the teens were returned from Turkey.
On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s state-owned Al Arabiya television channel reported the return of two Saudi teenagers, who were brought to Syria by their father to join the Islamic State. Al Arabiya claimed Saudi’s security returned the teenagers “from Turkey to Saudi Arabia.”
“In July 2014, the two teenagers, whose names are Abdullah Nasir Abdullah, 15, and Ahmed Nasir Abdullah, 12, visited Turkey for vacation with their father. Later, the father took them to Syria to join the terrorist organization of Da’esh [ISIS],” Kurdistan CT said in a statement released on Tuesday.
“After a month, their father died while fighting for the terrorist organization of Da’esh. An elderly man later adopted the two teenagers.”
Kurdistan CT, which belongs to the Kurdistan Region Security Council (KRSC), said the two teenagers arrived at the Feysh Khabur border crossing located between the autonomous Kurdistan Region and Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) on March 26. It added that the Directorate General of Kurdistan CT received the two boys and handed them back to Saudi Arabia’s Consulate General in Erbil so they could be returned to their country.
“The process of handing the two Saudi teenagers was conducted in the Kurdistan Region with the help of Kurdistan CT,” the statement noted. “It has nothing to do with the State of Turkey, as the television channel Al Arabiya reported.”
As part of the US-led coalition, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has handed over dozens of foreign Islamic State prisoners, which the Kurdish security and Peshmerga forces arrested, to their respective governments over the past few years.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany