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The camp of al-Hol, in the north-east of Syria. REUTERS / Ali Hashisho

For the first time, a mother of a German family incarcerated in a camp in Syria will be repatriated. She has already arrived in Iraq with her three children and is due to join Germany in the coming days. An investigation is underway against this woman of about thirty years for belonging to the jihadist Islamic State. Like other European countries - including France - Germany is under pressure from Washington and Kurdish militias to deal with its Islamist fighters and their spouses and children.

"Laura H.", originally from Hesse, is said to have started her journey to Syria in March 2016 with her children to join the ranks of the Islamic State , according to Der Spiegel magazine.

Catastrophic conditions of incarceration

Since December 2018, the family was incarcerated in the al-Hol prison camp in northern Syria. A total of 70,000 people live in conditions that NGOs describe as catastrophic and dangerous for the lives of many children.

It was in this camp that the German authorities were able to recover "Laura H." and her three children, with the help of an American humanitarian organization. This repatriation is a first. So far, Germany has only helped children to leave Kurdish-controlled camps.

German Government under pressure

But in early November, a Berlin court ruled that children can not be separated from their mothers. Since then, the government has been under pressure to repatriate more women from jihadist fighters and their children. Currently, about 80 German ISIS members are still prisoners in Syria.

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