ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The government of France said on Friday that it had repatriated five children who belong to Islamic State members from displacement camps in northern Syria.
According to France’s foreign ministry, the children were either orphans or unaccompanied minors, The National reported. The ministry did not provide any further information about the children or their ages.
Paris also underlined its continued position that it would not repatriate adults suspected of membership in the Islamic State and would deal with the extremists on a “case-by-case” basis.
Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council is in the process of sentencing 14 French Islamic State fighters who were recently transferred from Syria to Iraq.
Baghdad’s Karkh investigative court, which is in charge of handling cases of terrorism based on Iraq’s Anti-Terrorism Law, recorded the confessions of the 14 French extremists on Sunday.
During a visit to France in February, Iraqi President Barham Salih told his French counterpart that Baghdad would put at least 13 French Islamic State captives on trial.
At a joint press conference following their meeting, Salih said the detainees would “be tried according to Iraqi law.”
France President Emmanuel Macron, meanwhile, declared that “it is up to the authorities of these countries to decide, sovereignly, if they will be tried there,” referring to Syria and Iraq.
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The United States has called on countries to bring home thousands of Islamic State members which the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured in Syria.
So far, European states have been reluctant to bring back Islamic State fighters or women accused of membership in the extremist group and their children who are stuck in Syria.
Many EU countries fear that due to the lack of evidence, Islamic State supporters could be quickly released once they appear in court after returning home.