U.S. repatriates 11 citizens from northeast Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States repatriated 11 U.S. citizens, including five minors, from northeastern Syria, the State Department said on Tuesday, in the largest single return of Americans from the war zone.

The United States also helped repatriate six Canadians, four Dutch citizens and a child from Finland back to those countries, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.

A 9-year-old non-U.S. citizen, who was a sibling of one of the American minors, was also resettled in the United States, he said.

The Canadian foreign ministry said the six Canadians were children who would "receive the support and care needed to begin a new life here in Canada."

Thousands of foreigners, including women and children, had moved to Syria from countries around the world to live in Islamic State's so-called "caliphate" until 2019, when U.S.-backed Kurdish forces snatched the last pocket of Syrian territory from the jihadists.

Women and children fleeing from Syria were housed in overcrowded detention camps run by Kurdish authorities, and international non-governmental organizations, who had pushed for repatriations due to rising violence and dire conditions in the camps.

Approximately 30,000 people - mostly children - from more than 60 countries remain in Syria's al-Hol and Roj displaced-person camps.

(Reporting by Clauda Tanios in Dubai, David Ljunggren in Ottawa, Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum)