A court in Iraq has sentenced 16 Turkish women to death by hanging for joining the Islamic State group, Reuters quoted an Iraqi judiciary spokesperson as saying on Sunday.

Some reports said 15 women were sentenced to death, while one was jailed for life, the BBC reported.

Since August, Iraq has been conducting trials of hundreds of foreign women who were detained – several of them with their children – after Islamic State strongholds started falling to Iraqi troops fighting them.

On Sunday, the central criminal court in Baghdad said it was sentencing the women “after it was proven they belong to the Daesh terrorist group, and after they confessed to marrying Daesh elements, or providing members of the group with logistical aid, or helping them carry out terrorist attacks”. Daesh is the acronym for the Arabic name of the terrorist group.

Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar said all the convicts could appeal against the verdict.

The women, between 20 and 50 years old, came to the Baghdad court dressed in black. Four of them brought their children with them, according to the BBC. One of the women reportedly told the judge she had fought Iraqi troops.

Thousands of foreigners have fought for the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since 2014. Many of them were women who came, or were brought, from other countries to join the war.

Earlier in February, Iraq sentenced another Turkish woman to death and 11 women from other countries to life in prison. Iraq sentenced to death a German woman in January and a Russian fighter in 2017 for joining the hardline group.

While the Iraqi government has declared its war against the Islamic State over, the militants have been carrying out suicide bombings and other attacks in Iraq and across the world.