A number of orphaned British children caught up in the war in Syria are to be brought home to the UK, the foreign secretary has said.
They will be the first UK citizens to be repatriated from the area of north-eastern Syria formerly controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group.
The “innocent” children should “never have been subjected to the horrors of war”, Dominic Raab said.
Charities have urged the government to bring every British child back home.
Those who are returning are expected to arrive in the UK in the coming days.
For security reasons, further details of their repatriation cannot be given.
In a statement, Mr Raab said: “We have facilitated their return home, because it was the right thing to do.
“Now they must be allowed the privacy and given the support to return to a normal life.”
BBC Middle East Correspondent Quentin Sommerville said the orphaned children were handed over to a delegation from the Foreign Office and had left Syria, with diplomats saying they were doing “very well”.
IS once controlled 88,000 sq km (34,000 sq miles) of territory stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq.
The fate of foreign IS fighters and other foreigners caught up in the conflict has been a key issue since the defeat of the extremist group was declared in March 2019.
The UK had been reluctant to take back citizens from the area.
Other countries including France, Denmark, Norway and Kazakhstan have brought children home. Read more