Samantha Sally Elhassani, an American citizen who says she and her children were forced into Syria by her extremist husband, who has since been killed, has reportedly been released from the custody of the YPJ, an all-female brigard of the Kurdish armed forces, and returned to the U.S., where she has been charged with making false statements to the FBI. According to U.S. officials, the return of Sally and another American citizen, Ibraheem Izzy Musaibli, is part of a larger attempt to bring foreign nationals out of detention camps in Syria so that they can be tried in their home countries.
“We have repeatedly called on the nations of the world to come forward, claim their citizens and bring them to justice in their home countries,” said U.S. Army Spokesperson Colonel Thomas Veale last month.
“We know from past experience that detention centers are a breeding ground for radicalism. We cannot afford to allow this issue to go unresolved. It’s a global issue that requires a global solution.”
In April, Sally, then still in Kurdish custody, spoke to CNN about suffering rape, violence, and other horrific treatment at the hands of both her husband and other extremists after he took her and her two children to Raqqa so that he could join ISIS. She said that it was only after Elhassani was killed by a drone strike that she finally felt “able to breathe” once more, and begged for her and her four children to be allowed to return home to the U.S. Following the safe return of Sally and her children to American soil, the U.S. Justice Department has said that the children are in custody with the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), and that DCS would make “any necessary determinations regarding their custody, safety, and well-being.”
Read the full story at Kurdistan 24.