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Kurds urge foreign governments to repatriate jihadists

KURDISH forces have appealed to foreign governments to take back jihadists that were detained after being captured as Isis was swept aside in northern Syria.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed to have captured hundreds of jihadists, including those from Britain, France and the United States, however say they do not have the resources to keep them in detention.

Senior SDF official Abdel Karim Omar claimed they held "around 520 Daesh [Isis] mercenaries, as well as 550 women and around 1,200 children from 44 countries.”

"It's a heavy burden that we can't carry alone," he said, adding: "We will not try any Daesh fighter. We are trying as much as possible to pressure governments to carry out their duties and take their citizens back."

The SDF were a major part of the defeat of Isis in northern Syria winning decisive victories including the liberation of the former jihadist stronghold of Raqqa.

They are currently engaged in a battle to retake the last few Isis-held villages along the Euphrates River, close to the Iraqi border and are detaining more foreign jihadists.

Many governments appear reluctant to take their citizens back and try them in their home countries although last year Washington accepted the return of two US citizens who had allegedly fought with Isis in Syria.

However, Britain stripped two men of their citizenship, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey – also known as “the Beatles” – and refused to take them into custody.

Mr Omar warned that the SDF could not hold the prisoners indefinitely, warning that they would explore other options.

“For us it is a very large number because these Daeshis are dangerous and they committed massacres, and their presence in our detention is an opportunity for the international community to put them on trial,” he said.

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