Government makes ongoing efforts to evacuate 17 Indonesians from Syria

Jakarta (ANTARA News) – The Government of Indonesia has continued its efforts to evacuate 17 Indonesians fleeing from ISIS in Raqqa, Syria.

Director of the Indonesian Citizens Protection of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lalu Muhammad Iqbal stated here on Thursday that the Indonesian government still has its lines of communication open with several groups ruling regions in Syria, including the Kurdish Authority of Northern Syria, in connection with the 17 Indonesians.

“We have communicated with the local authorities. However, the security condition on the field made it difficult. Several different groups have taken control over the region,” Iqbal remarked.

During the initial communication, the government had sought more information on the investigation report concerning the 17 Indonesians for the last two months.

“We received information that they are not fighters. They had been in Raqqa for their initial 40 days, and thereafter, they were sent to prison and isolation houses until they fled with the assistance of a third party on June 10,” Iqbal revealed.

The 17 Indonesians comprise 12 women and five men. Among them are a 13-year-old teenager and two underage children.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had received information in June stating that the 17 Indonesians were in Ain Issa and Kobane, Syria, located around 500 kilometers from Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan regional government.

The Indonesians were in the region controlled by one of the Anti-ISIS Kurdish faction in Northern Syria, Iqbal said.

Earlier on Wednesday, AP reported that a local Kurdish official and a spokeswoman said that the 17 Indonesians were handed over to representatives of their country and have left Syria.

However, the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to confirm the information and said that the government is continuing its efforts to evacuate 17 of its citizens from Syria.

Source: Antara News