The German government has repatriated several women in Syria suspected of supporting the so-called "Islamic State" (IS) along with their children, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced on Wednesday.
The operation involved four women, seven children and a young man who had been taken to Syria when he was 11 years old. All had been living in the Roj camp in northeastern Syria, which is largely under Kurdish control.
"I am especially relieved because the children are not responsible for their parents' fateful choices," Baerbock said, adding that they "are ultimately also victims of IS."
The five adults among the group were detained when they arrived back in Germany and will have to "answer for their alleged actions," she added.
Few cases remaining
A total of 26 women and 76 children with suspected links to IS have been repatriated from Syria to Germany in recent years. Some have been tried and jailed for crimes committed during the war.
"I am relieved because this action has allowed us to close almost all the known cases," Baerbock said.
However, the German Foreign Office said there have been some instances where women in Syria have chosen not to return to Germany.
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zc/wd (dpa, AFP, AP)