Trump says Europe willing to repatriate detained IS fighters

Trump says 'some' European countries willing to repatriate detained IS fighters from Syria
2 min read
18 October, 2019
There are around 12,000 suspected IS fighters in the custody of Kurdish security forces across prisons in northeastern Syria.
Kurdish authorities have detained thousands of foreign IS fighters. [Getty]

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that some European nations are now willing to take responsibility for detained IS fighters who are from their countries.

In a series of tweets he said "some" European countries, which he did not name, "are now willing, for the first time, to take the (Islamic State group) Fighters that came from their nations."

"This is good news, but should have been done after WE captured them," he said. "Anyway, big progress being made!!!!"

Read more: The deadly toll of US indifference in Syria

Turkish troops and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters launched their offensive against Kurdish forces in northern Syria a week ago, two days after Trump suddenly announced he was withdrawing the US military from the area.

The prospect that thousands of the world's most fanatic militants could break out in the chaos caused by Turkey's invasion of northeastern Syria is causing widespread alarm.

European governments fear it could lead to a resurgence of the group that has wreaked havoc through attacks in the West and formerly controlled parts of Syria and Iraq.

According to Kurdish authorities, hundreds of IS relatives have already tried to escape since Ankara launched its offensive on 9 October.

Read more: How will Europe deal with returning Islamic State group fighters?

There are around 12,000 suspected IS fighters in the custody of Kurdish security forces across prisons in northeastern Syria.

At least 2,500 of them are non-Iraqi foreigners of more than 50 different nationalities. Tunisia is thought to have the biggest contingent.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Follow us on Twitter: @The_NewArab