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IRAQ

Islamic State children repatriated to Germany from Iraq

Germany has repatriated from Iraq several children of jailed jihadists, the foreign ministry said Friday, as the war against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group draws to a close.

Islamic State children repatriated to Germany from Iraq
FIle photo shows an Iraqi soldier in war-torn Mosul in 2017. Photo: DPA

“The number of minors already brought back to Germany has reached a high single-digit figure,” the Foreign Ministry source said, adding that the returns were carried out with the consent of the children's parents.

SEE ALSO: 'I was a little bit naive': German woman flees IS

They are now in the custody of their relatives in Germany, the source added. Among the first young returnees to Germany were three children who arrived with their 31-year-old mother at Stuttgart airport on Thursday, their lawyer Mahmut Erdem said in a statement.

They were taken into custody immediately, the lawyer said.

According to the Foreign Ministry, at least eight Germans were jailed in Iraq, after they were convicted over their membership of IS.

The Foreign Ministry said it was aware of cases of German nationals in custody in northern Syria, but added that it did not have direct consular access to them as the embassy in Damascus has been closed.

Nevertheless, the government is looking for ways to repatriate the German nationals, it added.

With the collapse of the last IS bastion in Syria last month, the fate of foreign fighters and their families has become a significant problem for governments as the conflict against IS draws to a close.

The German Interior Ministry has said the children are innocent victims, paving the way for their return.

France last month took in five orphans and is dealing with returns on a case-by-case basis.

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IS

Jihadist’s wife sentenced in Germany for enslaving Yazidi girl

A German court sentenced the wife of rapper-turned-jihadist to three and a half years in prison for having taken part in the enslavement of a Yazidi girl in Syria.

Jihadist's wife sentenced in Germany for enslaving Yazidi girl
Omaima A. in a Hamburg court in May. Photo: DPA

Named by the court as Omaima A., 36, the German-Tunisian woman was found guilty of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) group by a regional court in Hamburg.

The judges also found her in violation of her duty as a mother by taking her three small children to a war zone, and of a war weapons control act for use of a Kalashnikov rifle.

Early in 2015, the woman and her three children joined her first husband in IS-controlled areas in Syria.

After his death, she married a notorious Berlin gangster rapper who had joined the ranks of the jihadist group.

The rapper Denis Cuspert, better known under his pseudonym “Deso Dogg”, had joined IS in 2014. According to media reports, he was killed during an air attack in 2018 in Syria.

The judges found the defendant to be complicit in the enslavement of a 13-year-old girl from the Yazidi minority community.

In the trial, Omaima A. said that she “made a serious mistake five years ago”, public broadcaster NDR reported, when she joined her first husband in Raqqa, then the capital of IS in Syria.

She claimed that the Yazidi girl was a “guest” in their house.

READ ALSO: Widow of German rapper turned IS fighter arrested in Hamburg

“I apologise to her for not having been able to help her,” the woman said.

But the public prosecutor's office said that she had never truly broken with the jihadist organisation.

Her lawyer argued that she had been content to maintain the home and look after her children without supporting the militant actions of her two husbands.

Two other trials are being held in Germany in connection with abuses committed against the Yazidis.

A German woman has been in the dock since April 2019 for war crimes and murder, accused of having left a five-year-old Yazidi girl dying of thirst in Iraq.

Linked to the same crime, an Iraqi man has been on trial since last April in Frankfurt for murder and genocide, reportedly unprecedented against a member of IS.

The Islamic State group committed atrocities against the Yazidis in 2014 that are being investigated by the UN to determine whether they can be qualified as genocide.

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