ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – At least 150 Kurds who joined the so-called Islamic State are detained in prisons in the autonomous Kurdish region, a representative of the Kurdistan Region’s ministry of religious affairs said on Thursday.
According to Mariwan Naqshbandi, a representative of the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, nearly 500 Kurdish individuals from the Kurdistan Region joined the Islamic State.
When the terror group emerged in mid-2014, many across the world and the Middle East, including Kurdish citizens, joined the group. As the self-proclaimed caliphate crumbled, several of these Kurdish fighters were killed, with a majority of the remaining ones turning themselves over to Kurdish authorities over the past few years.
“After two years, the recruitment of Kurds slowly faded away as data shows that 350 of them were killed,” Naqshbandi told the official website of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).
“As for the rest of the 150 Kurdish radicals that were not killed, they have surrendered to the Kurdistan Region’s security authorities, and are dealt with according to the law.”
When the Islamic State suffered a military defeat in Baghouz and the rest of Syria, no Kurds were found among the nearly 900 fighters who were arrested and sent back to Iraq.
Of the 500 Kurdish insurgents, only 20 remain missing, Naqshbandi said. According to testimonies from the ones in prison, the missing have allegedly left the Islamic State to join the Nusra Front in Syria, he added.
Following the emergence of the Islamic State, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in coordination with the Federal Government of Iraq created an anti-terror committee which Naqshbandi was a member of.
The committee in Kurdistan Region presented its final report in 2017 as there were no new cases of Kurds inside the ranks of the Islamic State.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany