A Kosovo court has jailed three ethnic Albanian men who had tried to join Islamic State extremists in Syria.

Two of them were sentenced to two years and four months in jail and the third to two-and-a-half years, the Pristina court said Friday.

Last November they were stopped by the Turkish authorities at Istanbul airport and handed back to Kosovo police who arrested them.

Joining Islamic rebel groups is punishable with up to 15 years imprisonment based on a law passed last year prohibiting Kosovo people from taking part in armed conflicts outside their territory.

A few hundred Kosovo-born volunteers have gone to join the Islamic groups in Syria and Iraq, mainly passing through Turkey.