This retired German didgeridoo saleswoman who travelled to Syria to rescue her grandchildren from her radicalised daughter and son-in-law is believed to have been killed in a US air strike.
The woman, identified as Helga G., who is originally from the German city of Oberhausen in the north-eastern German province of North Rhine Westphalia has reportedly been killed in the Battle of Baghuz.
It began on 9th February this year and was an American-led coalition attack on the Syrian town of Al-Baghuz Fawqani, regarded as the last stand of the Islamic State (IS) in eastern Syria.
In the fierce fighting that followed, there were numerous civilian casualties, up until the city was taken on 23rd March. Among those who died was Helga G.
The tragic OAP had got divorced in 2002 and decided to start a new life for herself by emigrating to Australia, where she set up a successful business selling didgeridoos, the traditional instrument used by aborigines.
She ran the business for eight years, before deciding to sell up and move back to Oberhausen in Germany so that she could spend time with her daughter’s children, who has been identified only as Maya G.
But Maya had become radicalised after marrying Lebanese born Fadi al-Kurdi. He had several petty criminal convictions and as a result the family had decided to leave the country for a fresh start, and in the summer of 2015 the entire family departed for Syria.
The trip was funded by the pensioner who sold her property and it is believed that al-Kurdi had taken control of her money once they move their in order to become a weapons dealer in the caliphate in Rakka, which reportedly gave them a decent living.
A social media account was set up in her name where IS propaganda was frequently posted urging Muslims around the world to support what they were doing, and anybody who rejected the idea of living under Sharia law was not a true Muslim.
It is unclear however whether she was responsible for the statements or whether the account was being operated in her name.
However with the Kurdish-led attack on Rakka the family were forced to flee, leaving everything behind, and in the fierce fighting al-Kurdi was injured and captured while his wife and mother-in-law fled south with the children.
The social media account used by the OAP continued to pour scorn on critics of IS, warning them of judgement day, for example, and calling Turkish opponents “Jews”.
The daughter ended up being seized by Kurdish militia fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), earlier this year, whereas the pensioner, according to IS sources quoted in German media, retreated to the Baghuz stronghold where they say she was later killed during an air attack.
They alleged that it had been a bomb dropped by an AC-130 operated by the U.S. Air Force. However, there was no independent corroboration of the statement. If she is dead, she could also have been killed at any stage previously and the fact that her account was still in operation was no proof that she was the one operating it.
The daughter is reportedly in a YPG refugee camp hoping for a return to Germany. The camp is reportedly being operated by the female version of the YPG, known as the YPJ.
The biggest is the al-Hawi camp which contains around 70,000 people, most of them refugees from Iraq and Syria. There is also a small section devoted to foreigners, that include several German women with their children.
There is reportedly appalling hygiene conditions in the camps, with a hospital only recently being opened, but German officials have so far delayed in bringing them back. The reason given is that there is no embassy in Syria at the moment.
The Kurdish officials certainly want to get rid of the foreign Islamic radicals, but are insisting on diplomatic recognition in exchange for handing them over. That in turn however would cause problems with Turkey that does not recognise the YPG and instead alleges it is simply the replacement for the outlawed PKK.
The latest development is that families of these radicalised Germans have written to interior minister Horst Seehofer urging him to intervene because of the threats to their lives and the rampant illness and lack of hygiene in the camps.
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MailOnline – German didgeridoo saleswoman ‘was killed in US air strike’