Iraq's judgment of foreign jihadists IS is increasingly compromised

In the face of social and political instability in the country, Baghdad no longer wants to deal with the jihadists detained in northeastern Syria.

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At Al-Hol camp, home to ISIS foreign fighters' families, in northeastern Syria on 17 October. DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP

The option of a trial in Baghdad of Islamic State (IS) foreign fighters still held in Northeastern Syria's prisons appears to be increasingly compromised by political instability and reluctance growing numbers of Iraqi authorities. "We will recover and judge only Iraqi nationals. We will not be responsible for foreign fighters. The proposal to receive some was rejected ", says an Iraqi diplomat. Referring to mass demonstrations that resumed in Baghdad and the southern Shiite of the country, Thursday, October 24 in the evening, after a week of mobilization harshly repressed at the beginning of the month, at the price of 157 dead, the diplomat believes that"Such an eventuality is difficult to envisage given the internal situation in Iraq. The stability of the country is at stake.

Read the latest information: Demonstrations against the government resume in Iraq

The Iraqi position was notified to French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian during his visit to Baghdad on 17 October. His Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, then said about foreign fighters that "The countries concerned must take the necessary and appropriate measures to judge them". The following day, in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Mr. Le Drian announced the establishment of " very soon " a new cooperation between Paris and Baghdad on the shutters "Humanitarian, judicial and penitentiary", which could concern French nationals considered justiciable in the Iraqi courts.

Sixty French fighters are still believed to be detained, with 2,500 to 3,000 other foreign fighters, in prisons under the control of Syrian Kurdish forces. Nearly four hundred French women and children are among the 12,000 foreigners living in IDP camps in northeastern Syria. According to a well-informed source, French nationals or Francophones could also be among the fifty or so foreign fighters transferred from Syria to Iraq by the Americans before the Turkish offensive on northern Syria on 9 October.


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