Iraq repatriates nearly 200 children of Turkish jihadists

Baghdad (AFP) –


Iraq repatriated to Turkey on Wednesday 188 children of Turks accused of belonging to the Islamic State group, a capital offence in Iraq, the judiciary said.

The move follows the repatriation to Tajikistan late last month of 84 children of nationals convicted by Iraqi courts of membership of IS or other jihadist groups.

That came after dozens of children were flown to Russia and after France and Germany repatriated the children of women nationals detained in Iraq.

Baghdad declared victory over IS in 2017 but the group's cross-border "caliphate" was only eliminated when US-backed fighters conquered its last scrap of territory in Syria in March.

Iraqi courts have dealt with a steady flow of jihadists -- with 500 foreign men and women already found guilty of having joined IS.

The caseload has swelled in recent months after thousands of jihadists were transferred from Syria after the battle to stamp out the last IS enclave.

Since Sunday seven French jihadists have been sentenced to death for joining IS.

The trials of foreign jihadists have been criticised by human rights groups, which say they often rely on evidence obtained through torture.

France's rights ombudsman on Wednesday said the country must stop the "inhumane treatment" of children of jihadists stranded in Syria who are not being allowed to come to the country.