Germany hints it could take back ISIS fighters in Syria
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The German government suggested on Sunday that it would take back its citizens who traveled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State.
A spokesperson for Germany’s Interior Ministry said Berlin would consider taking back its citizens suspected of Islamic State crimes only if they have consular access, Reuters reported.
“In principle, all German citizens and those suspected of having fought for so-called ISIS have the right to return,” the spokesperson said.
“But in Syria, the German government cannot guarantee legal and consular duties for jailed German citizens due to the armed conflict there.”
Earlier this month, the United States called on countries to bring home thousands of Islamic State members which the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured in Syria.
Some senior Syrian Kurdish officials say the number of captured Islamic State fighters has surpassed 1,500 after the recent offensive in Syria’s Deir al-Zor province.
US President Donald Trump renewed that call on Saturday when he urged European allies to take back hundreds of Islamic State foreign fighters in the war-torn country.
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.
The United Kingdom has refused to take back their citizens who joined the Islamic State and has reportedly stripped them of their citizenships, the Associated Press reported.
France, meanwhile, has said Paris would prosecute Islamic State members if Syrian Kurds deport them.