Even without a “caliphate”, the jihadi foreigners into Syria will remain a “danger”

Même sans "califat", les jihadistes étrangers en Syrie restent un "danger"

The “thousands” of jihadists foreigners and their families held in Syria pose “a danger” in spite of the fall of the “caliphate” of the group islamic State (EI), warned Sunday the syrian Kurds, urging the international community to defuse this potential time bomb.

After months of bitter fighting, the democratic Forces in syria (SDS), alliance of arab-kurdish supported by an international coalition led by the United States, conquered on Saturday the last pocket of the AR at Baghouz, a village on the eastern flank of Syria, near the river Euphrates.

This victory has signed the collapse territorial of the “caliphate” self-proclaimed in 2014 by the organization jihadi the most feared the world over vast territories straddling Syria and Iraq. The ARS had been defeated in December 2017 in Iraq.

Sunday, FDS continue to rake the strip of land where the last of the irreducible EI have delivered a vain last stand of honor.

During the six-month long offensive, more than 630 civilians have been killed, according to the Observatory syrian Human rights (OSDH). About 1,600 jihadists and 750 fighters of the FDS have also perished.

Thousands of jihadists and their families who had found refuge at Baghouz and its surrounding area over the setback inflicted on the ir in recent years, are also made to the FDS.

Over 66,000 people have left this area of eastern syria since early January, of which 5,000 jihadists and 24,000 members of their families, according to the latest figures provided by the FDS.

The fighters have been arrested and are imprisoned by the Kurds, who have established an administration that is semi-autonomous in the north-east of Syria, while the non-combatants, including women and children, are retained for the most in the idp camp of Al-Hol.

– Originating from 54 countries –

Many of them do not hide to have kept their sympathy for the extremist ideology of the AR, despite the campaigns of executions and deadly attacks claimed by the organization.

“We have thousands of fighters, children and women from 54 countries, without counting the Syrians and the Iraqis,” pointed out the officer in charge of foreign Affairs within the administration, semi-autonomous kurd, Abdel Karim Omar.

“It is necessary that there is coordination between us and the international community to face up to this danger”, he hammered, the Kurds do not have the means to hold over the long term as many people, or judging them.

While Washington has promised the withdrawal of the overwhelming majority of the 2,000 soldiers stationed in Syria after the end of the “caliphate” of the AR, the Kurds –that the administration is not officially recognized by the international community– fear an offensive from neighbouring Turkey against the territories that they control.

Ankara has threatened on numerous occasions to intervene against the militias the kurds that it considers as “terrorists”. For the moment, Washington has promised to keep “for some time” the 400 us soldiers in the area.

But, “any threat or any new war will be an opportunity given to these criminal jihadists of the EI, ed) to escape prisons”, has cautioned the top official of the kurdish.

– “Future terrorists” –

In addition to a leak of the jihadist fighters are imprisoned, the syrian Kurds have warned against an abandonment to their fate of children who have bathed in the violent propaganda of the AR.

The children of jihadists would be over 3,500, from over 30 countries, in camps for the displaced, according to the NGO Save The Children.

“There are thousands of children educated according to the ideology of the AR. If these children are not re-educated and reintegrated into their home society, they are future terrorists”, warned Mr. Omar.

But the question of the repatriation of jihadist fighters, and even the children, divided the countries whose nationals have joined the EI in Iraq or in Syria.

If France, the western country most affected by the terrorist attacks perpetrated in the name of the AR, or Great Britain is also struck by attacks, have welcomed the end of the caliphate, the subject of repatriations remains very sensitive. According to a survey published at the end of February, 89% of French people interviewed said they were “concerned” about a potential return of jihadists adults.

Some 67% were in favour of letting Syria and Iraq to take care of the children. Mid-march, Paris was, however, repatriated five children of jihadists French, “orphaned and isolated”.

In addition to the “danger” posed by jihadists held, the dormant cells of the AR in both Iraq and Syria are a “major threat to (…) the world”, pointed out Saturday the commander-in-chief of the FDS, Mazloum Kobane.

“Do not be fooled, Daech preserves its forces”, warned the general Paul LaCamera, commander of the forces of the coalition anti-EI, using an acronym in Arabic of the AR.

The battle against the ir was one of the main fronts of the war to multiple actors ravaging Syria for more than eight years. The conflict has claimed more than 370.000 deaths.