ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi government will put on trial 13 French Islamic State captives which the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recently transferred to Iraq, the country’s president said on Monday.
During a joint press conference in Paris with his French counterpart, Iraqi President Barham Salih said the French detainees would “be tried according to Iraqi law.”
“They are accused of having commanded operations against Iraqis and Iraqi installations in Iraq,” he added.
“We are acting within the confines of international law on this matter.”
The Iraqi president indicated that other foreign Islamic State fighters who “committed crimes against Iraqis and Iraqi installations in Iraq” would face trial in the country.
Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “it is up to the authorities of these countries to decide, sovereignly, if they will be tried there.”
“These people [ISIS captives] are entitled to benefit from our consular protection, and our diplomatic service will be mobilized,” Macron added.
The French president also told reporters he plans to visit Iraq in the coming months to participate in reconstruction efforts.
On Sunday, the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian SDF extradited 280 Iraqi nationals who are accused of membership in the Islamic State back to Baghdad.
The captured militants were sent in two separate batches, with the first group, some 130 Iraqi extremist fighters, arriving on Thursday as an Iraqi military spokesperson had then announced.
Earlier this month, the United States called on countries to bring home thousands of Islamic State members which the SDF captured in Syria.
So far, European states have been reluctant to bring back Islamic State fighters or women accused of membership in the extremist group and their children who are stuck in Syria.
Many EU countries fear that due to the lack of evidence, Islamic State supporters could be quickly released once they appear in court after returning home.