UK’s Halane sisters held in detention by Kurds after fleeing from Syrian camp


Twin sisters from Manchester, UK, Zahra and Salma Halane, now 22, are now being detained at a high-security detention centre after they tried to escape a Syrian refugee camp. The sisters had triggered a counter-terrorism high profile investigation after they had fled to Syria when they were just 16 years old. They had disappeared in 2014 from their house in Chorlton in South Manchester and flew down to Turkey from where they crossed border to enter the war-torn Syria. Investigation into the reason of their travel and accomplices was initiated by north-west counter terrorism unit of police.

Muslim sisters who are said to be deeply religious rejected their Somalian family’s pleas to return home. It is known through sources that the sisters went on to marry Islamic State (IS) fighters and were later widowed. Their elder brother Ahmed Halane is also suspected to have associations with various terrorist organizations. The sisters said on Monday of their wish to repatriate to Denmark, their birth country.

Last year the sisters fled from Syria, the ISIS territory and spent next 16 months reportedly at a refugee camp along with Zahra’s young son. They were then arrested by Kurdish security services while they were trying to flee from the camp. Salma said, “I had never thought oft leaving. Things were good. We had WHO checking me and my sister but the situation became very bad.”

Salma reports of declining health of sister Zahra and her nephew while she too reports to be injured. She explains the reason of escaping the camp to get proper medical service. She elaborates, “We have nothing to do with the Islamic State. I see myself as a victim. I am not happy about the Islamic State.” The sisters have been banned from returning to UK citing their links with the IS.



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