What will happen to the thousands of IS members who surrendered in the final phase of the battle in Syria? Neighboring Iraq might try them but the country suffers from overcrowded prisons and overworked courts.
|ISIS-prisoners waiting for their turn in front of the judge (FOTO JUDIT NEURINK)|
Judit Neurink, Erbil
The Syrian Kurds, who have been fighting IS as part of a coalition with the United States, are overwhelmed by the huge number of fighters who are now in their custody. They have warned that they cannot guarantee their continued imprisonment in case of an expected Turkish assault on their region.
In search of a solution, Washington turned to Baghdad, and Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has announced that, as part of an undisclosed agreement, Iraq will try those foreign IS members from Syria who have committed crimes against Iraqis. He also promised to help repatriate other foreign members/fighters to their home countries. Fourteen French IS members have since been taken from Syria to Baghdad, along with 280 Iraqis, a number which is set to rise to 500 as part of the agreement. Talks are ongoing to transfer a total of 20,000 Iraqi IS men, women and children to Iraq, the International Red Cross has reported.
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