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Central Asia drives Syria repatriations to reduce risk

Wednesday, July 10, 2019


Central Asian policies on repatriating nationals associated with Middle East insurgency.


Central Asian governments' concerns about radicalisation among Muslim-majority populations were amplified when hundreds of nationals went to Syria and Iraq in 2014-15 to join Islamic State (IS) and other jihadist groups. They are prioritising the repatriation of women and children, in contrast to European governments' reluctance to approve blanket returns.


  • The security drive against local extremists will be sustained across Central Asia.
  • Policies towards returning women will not be affected by IS-attributed attacks unless a direct link is made.
  • In Russia, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is leading on repatriation efforts focused on children.

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