Small Wars Journal

France to Take Back ISIS Fighters, Reversing Policy in Wake of U.S. Withdrawal from Syria

France to Take Back ISIS Fighters, Reversing Policy in Wake of U.S. Withdrawal from Syria by James McAuley and Michael Birnbaum – Washington Post

France is in discussions about repatriating Islamic State fighters and their families, a policy shift prompted by the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.

 

The French government confirmed this past week that French jihadists detained in Syrian camps may be returned to France.

 

“We are exploring all options in order to prevent these potentially dangerous individuals from escaping or dispersing,” Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, told reporters. “If the forces detaining these French fighters decide to deport them to France, they would be immediately handed over to the judicial authorities.

 

“These individuals voluntarily joined a terrorist organization that is fighting in the Levant, has committed attacks in France and is continuing to pose a threat to us.”

 

The French government wouldn’t confirm how many ­people may be repatriated, but French media reports, citing government sources, have placed the figure between 120 and 130…

Read on.