The German foreign ministry said on Friday November 22nd its government will repatriate for the first time a suspected member of extremist group Isis and her children from a prison camp in northern Syria.
"We can confirm that three German children who were being held in northern Syria were able to travel to Iraq with their mother today. To our knowledge, all of them will travel on to Germany from there," a foreign ministry source told AFP.
The foreign ministry did not identify the Isis suspect, but Spiegel magazine named her as Laura H., 30.
The ministry managed to secure her return after weeks of negotiation with the help of an American aid organization, the weekly reported.
German authorities had been investigating the suspect mother since 2016 on suspicion of belonging to a terror organisation and neglect of her children.
The German mother is believed to have travelled to Syria from Giessen in western Germany in March 2016, and to have joined Isis that summer after her husband had joined the terrorist group, The Guardian has reported.
She and her children are said to have been held in the notoriously overcrowded Al Hol camp in northern Syria since December 2018.
The camp is run by the Kurdish militia YPG and hosts more than 70,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria, and is the subject of continuing concern from aid agencies.
Around 80 German Isis members are still in Syrian camps or prisons, German security sources said.