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Autonomous administration in Syria to put Isis fighters on trial after international snub

ROJAVA is set to put foreign jihadists on trial amid inaction from international governments, the Kurdish-majority administration in north-east Syria said today.

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria  — commonly known as Rojava — said yesterday that it would press ahead with the prosecutions through its own justice system after its demands for repatriation of Isis fighters were ignored.

But external affairs spokesman Fenner al-Kait warned: “This is an international crisis and an international solution must be found.”

About 70,000 Isis-affiliated jihadists and their families from at least 54 countries are being held in north-east Syria, according to statistics from the Rojava Information Centre (RIC).

Just 500 were repatriated last year, amounting to just 3 per cent of the total detained.

“Unfortunately many states have not responded to our appeals. For example, we have handed over less than 10 per cent of Isis-linked children to their countries so far.

“There is the urgent need for a solution to this issue in our region and to press states to receive their nationals,” Mr Kait said.

An unknown number of jihadists escaped during Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria last year, with many believed to have made their way across the border with the help of Turkish forces.

7,000 local fighters have been tried by the People’s Defence Courts, with a similar number of cases waiting to be heard.

The trials of foreign jihadists are due to start in the spring and represent a major policy shift from the autonomous administration.

It hopes for co-operation from international governments and experts in setting up a special court and bringing mercenaries to justice.


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