Russia: Tears and hugs as orphaned children of foreign IS fighters return from Iraq to Grozny

SOT, journalist, (Russian): «But did she want to go back?» SOT, Khadizhad Magomedova, Ali's aunt (Russian): «Of course she did. She said that at any time everything falls down, explodes. Then she had no means to get in touch. It was not possible. It is only through the tablet that she sent pictures and wrote «I'm fine, don't worry». This was the last text. Photos of children and a text. And that... Еще's all.» SOT, journalist, (Russian): «And how did you see this video, where you recognised kids?» SOT, Khadizhad Magomedova, Ali's aunt (Russian): «I was contacted from unknown number. I was sending texts all over, after 3-4 months without communication, I started to try and contact numbers that she gave me, the numbers that I had in Turkey, Istanbul. Then a text was sent from an unknown number, saying, look, there is a footage, looks similar to your nephew. And I recognised Ali immediately.» SOT, journalist, (Russian): «Please tell me with whom will the boy live?» SOT, Khadizhad Magomedova, Ali's aunt (Russian): «With me and my children. I have two children. To make it all go away, so that he realised that he is a child, that all is calm, all is well. And then, of course, grandmother and guests will start coming to see him. And until then I will not let him go anywhere, so that he could forget everything.» Five Russian-speaking children, who had been taken by their parents to Iraq as they joined self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL/ISIS), landed in Grozny's airport, Friday. Miriam Shihabudinov, Ali Magomedov, Sultan-Murad Aliyev, and Khadija and Fatima Zainukova were returned to the arms of their relatives after spending years in Iraq. They were found in an orphanage in Baghdad, after their parents were either arrested or killed. Khadizhad Magomedova, Ali's aunt, recounted the departure of her sister, saying, «On my request to come back she said that she had no documents neither for her nor for the children. She said that she had no Russian documents at all.» Khadizhad went on to say that she was «contacted from unknown number» from which she received the video with her nephew, whom she «recognised immediately.» According to reports, dozens of Russian-speaking children are still in Iraqi orphanages across the country. Their relatives remain hopeful to see the kids safe back in their homeland. «I came today to see children who come back to Motherland. We dreamed about deserving help to make our other children come back,» a grandmother in search of her grandchildren said, as she witnessed the five children's' reunion with their families.

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