French Islamic State women languish in Syria camp
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- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
In an overcrowded desert camp for families linked to the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, a French woman begged for another chance so she and her children could go home.
In the same settlement, two other French women were more tepid about the prospect of repatriation, with one saying she feared being separated from her child.
In the squalid camp of Al-Hol, the question of return has sparked a divide among the French wives of IS fighters.
“We’d like the French government to give us the chance to make it up to them,” 30-year-old Umm Mohammad told AFP in French.
“I think it’s better they repatriate us… We’ll be judged in France,” said the mother of four from Paris, dressed in a black robe and face veil.
After years of fighting IS, Syria’s Kurds hold 4,000 women and 8,000 children from families linked to the extremist organisation, mostly in Al-Hol.
Inside the camp, a veiled woman pushed a child in a pram, the bottom of her black robe caked in dry mud.
Two boys in jackets and rubber boots dragged a cart over a dirt field beyond rows of white tents, a little girl in a pink coat running alongside.
Umm Mohammad said that among her compatriots in Al-Hol’s section for foreigners, “a huge amount want to go home”.
“There’s another half who don’t want to go back, but that’s their problem,” said the widow, who says her French husband was killed in Hajin, once one of the last bastions of the IS “caliphate”.
France has so far been reluctant to repatriate its nationals, allowing just a handful of children back on a case-by-case basis.
But in an apparent U-turn last week, Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet said she saw “no other solution” but to bring back jihadists.
Source: Daily Mail