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Trapped in Syria, Part 1: A Father’s Fight

Since the fall of the Islamic State, many of the group’s fighters and their families have been held in prison camps controlled by U.S.-allied Kurdish forces. Parents around the world have been trying to get their children and grandchildren out of the camps and back to their home countries. Now, the fate of those detainees has become an urgent question after President Trump’s abrupt recall of American troops from the Syrian border.

We follow one father as he fights to get his daughter, a former ISIS bride, and her children back to Australia.

Guest: Livia Albeck-Ripka, a reporter for The Times in Melbourne, Australia, spoke to Kamalle Dabboussy, whose daughter Mariam is trapped in Syria with her three children. For more information on today’s episode, visit

Background coverage:

  • “There will be ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish people from Syria, and the American administration will be responsible for it,” said Mazlum Kobani, a Kurdish military commander, when asked about a full American withdrawal from northern Syria.
  • President Trump is now said to be considering leaving a few hundred troops in eastern Syria to defend against an ISIS resurgence.

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