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Agence France Presse: Kurds In Syria Say They Hold 900 Foreign IS Fighters (TOI via CEP)

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Oct. 12, 2018

Figure significantly up from last month, as local official accuses Western countries of ‘flouting their responsibility’ to accept their citizens back

“Syrian Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State terror group hold around 900 of the organization’s foreign jihadists, a spokesman said on Thursday, a sharp increase from a previous figure. In lengthy battles against IS in the war-torn country, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have rounded up thousands of alleged IS members, Syrian and otherwise. That is a sharp rise from the figure of 520, given by another Kurdish official last month. “The war is ongoing and until now we are arresting terrorists,” Mahmoud explained, referring to ongoing battles against IS in eastern Syria. “The numbers have increased over the past months from the battles between our forces and IS,” he said. Kurdish authorities have said they will not put any foreign jihadists on trial, and repeatedly called on their home countries to take them back. But Western countries, reeling from IS-claimed terror attacks on their own soil, have been reluctant. “Most countries have been flouting their responsibility,” Mahmoud said. According to Kurdish foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar, Syrian Kurds also hold 550 women and around 1,200 children from the families of IS members.”

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