Turkey to Repatriate Majority of ISIS Fighters in Coming Weeks

According to the interior minister of Turkey, Ankara aims to repatriate a large portion of the captured ISIS fighters before the end of the year.

Turkey is expected to repatriate most ISIS fighters it captured during its recent offensive into northern Syria by the end of this year.

The Turkish interior minister made those remarks Tuesday saying, “The number of detainees to be repatriated by the year-end depends on how long the processes take, but especially for Europe, the process is under way.”

Reuters reports Turkey is holding just shy of 300 ISIS militants and hundreds more suspected of terror affiliation.

The interior minister also added Ankara aims to send another six to seven jihadi suspects back to their home countries by the end of this week.

The official continued by slamming his European counterparts for stripping some of the militants of their citizenship saying, “They do not have the right to leave their citizens without a nationality. They have no such right… This is why we held evaluations with certain countries on this, and they are taking them back.”

The interior minister’s announcement comes just one week after it began the program in an effort to return the fighters to their countries of origin.

Both Turkish and American officials have slammed their European counterparts in recent weeks for their lack of initiative in taking back the ISIS fighters which belong to their countries.

Just last month, President Trump announced he would be pulling U.S. forces from northern Syria, shortly before Turkey launched the long-planned offensive in the region.

The White House released a statement on the matter saying the United States it will not hold militants at the expense of American taxpayers, and now Turkey will be responsible for handling it. 

President Trump weighed in on this move by slamming his European counterparts for refusing to handle the trials of captured ISIS fighters, despite the fact many came from Europe.

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