ISIS fighters to be returned to France; interior minister says prison awaits

A report says that French citizens held by Kurds in Syria will be repatriated because their captors don’t want them. 

By World Israel News staff

Some 130 French citizens who fought in the ranks of the Islamic State terror network (ISIS) reportedly will be returned to France by their Syrian captors, according to French-based BFM TV, citing unnamed sources.

The people in question are said to be held in northeast Syria by Kurdish forces who don’t want to keep them.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner was interviewed Tuesday by BFM TV but would not specifically confirm the report, though he said that any such individuals would face due process once they arrived in France.

“The Americans are disengaging from Syria, and a certain number of people could be released,” he said.

“They will want to come back to France. They are now in Syria and Iraq. I am not master of their destiny,” Castaner added. “They can come to France, but they will be put in prison and judged.”

BFM reported that French prisons currently hold about 500 men who had gone abroad to join various Islamic terrorist groups.

French officials appear to prefer that these people face trial where they committed the alleged crimes. Iraq apparently is willing to do so, but Kurdish leaders argue that they lack the means, especially since the U.S., which has protected the Kurds, is in the midst of pulling out of Syria.

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There is resistance in various European countries to the repatriation of ISIS fighters.

The Soufan Center, a risk advisory company, estimates that about 2,000 French have joined Islamic State since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. The 2015 terror attacks in Paris were carried out, according to authorities, by French and Belgian members of Islamic State sent from its stronghold in Raqqa, which was overrun by Kurdish forces in 2017.