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Germany is bringing IS members back

So far, the German government has refused to bring back IS fighters with German passports from Syria. But now, for the first time, a plane with prisoners from Kurdish camps is flying to Germany: on board three women and twelve children, accompanied by federal police officers.

According to reports from Bild and the SWR, the federal government is bringing captured German ISIS members from northern Syria back to Germany this weekend. Three women with their children and several orphans, the newspaper reported. All of them have so far been interned in camps in the areas of northern Syria controlled by Kurdish security forces, where supporters of the jihadist militia Islamic State (IS) are detained.

The Foreign Office chartered an airplane for the return transport. The flight will be accompanied by federal police officers, it said without giving a more detailed source. According to Bild, the three adults are 21-year-old Leonora M. from Sangerhausen, 24-year-old Merve A. from Hamburg and Yasmin A. from Bonn. According to research by the SWR, there are three women between the ages of 21 and 38 and twelve children. These were handed over by representatives of the Kurdish self-government to a delegation from the Federal Foreign Office in Kamishli in northern Syria. The station relied on Kurdish information. The name Leonora M. was also confirmed accordingly.

Return campaigns rejected so far
The federal government had long refused to allow captured Germans to be returned directly, referring to the political situation in Syria. However, there were return trips on the way via Turkey. In addition, Bild referred to the case of three orphans and a seriously ill toddler who came to Germany in the summer of 2019 and to a German citizen who was handed over to German representatives through American mediation. At the time, the authorities had investigated the IS returnees for membership in a foreign terrorist organization and for breach of duty of care or upbringing. In the previous years, the federal government had only helped children leave Syrian prison camps.

The current repatriation had been planned for a long time, according to the reports, but was delayed because of the corona pandemic and negotiations with the Kurdish side. According to Bild, there are still almost 70 adult Germans in Kurdish captivity, plus 150 children of German parents. Almost two dozen Germans have fled captivity in northern Syria since last year, and ten of them have returned to Germany.

Source: n-tv
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