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"People committed their crimes on our soil, on our people. We have the evidence and the eyewitnesses here", says Rima Berkel, Judicial Councilor of the Autonomous Self-Government.
It has been ten years since IS first emerged. It had split from Al-Qaeda in 2013 and sought to use the chaos of the war in Syria to create a caliphate. While the Syrian regime quickly withdrew from the fighting, the Kurds in particular and militias allied with them opposed the jihadists. Starting in 2014, they were supported by an international alliance led by the United States, primarily through airstrikes. When the SDF captured the town of Baghouz, the last IS retreat near the Iraqi border, in 2019, the jihadists were considered defeated.
Thousands of fighters and their relatives were captured. Since then, the question for the Kurds has been: What should they do with all the men and women who for many years belonged to what is probably the world's most dangerous terrorist organization and many of whom are of foreign nationality?
Bartholomäus Laffert and me - with support of Shaveen Mohammad - went to the region to talk to those that suffered from the cruelties of the terrorist group and whose relatives were killed. Furthermore we spoke with officials, that try to hold the perpetrators accountable.