Albania freezes repatriation of its citizens from Syria

November 4, 2019 GMT

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania says it has frozen efforts to repatriate from Syria dozens of nationals being held on suspicion of having jihadi links.

State Minister Elisa Spiropali said Monday that the operation had been suspended “due to the new geo-political situation” in Syria, including Turkey’s military operations and U.S. troops’ withdrawal.

Spiropali said the Albanians held in a camp in northern Syria include 11 to 13 men suspected of terrorist activities and 28 children.

Officials launched plans to repatriate the 72 Albanian nationals in August.

In April, neighboring Kosovo became the first country to repatriate 110 of its citizens from Syria, mostly jihadi-linked women and children.