France rejects US call to repatriate IS “Foreign Fighters” from Syria

PARIS, French authorities on Friday rejected a call from the United States to bring back to France a number of foreign fighters and their spouses who were captured while fighting in the ranks of so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, official statements indicated.

Washington has several times called on European nations to claim their nationals still in detention in Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Iraq, where US forces are also present.

But now, according to statements, the US is threatening to round up the European nationals from IS and deliver them to the relevant countries, among them France.

“France?’s position is constant with respect to adult French nationals, men and women, who joined Daesh to fight in the Middle East,” acting Foreign Ministry spokesman Oliver Gauvin said in a briefing here.

He noted that those charged with crimes linked with IS in the region “must be tried as close as possible to the places where they committed their crimes.” This policy “is a matter of both justice and security,” Gauvin added.

At least 13 French IS fighters have been sentenced to death in Iraqi courts after they were handed over to that jurisdiction by Syrian Kurdish forces and there have been protests in France against the death penalty.

“We respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi state, including that of its judicial institutions, which declared that they have jurisdiction to try French fighters who are members of Daesh, without any financial compensation having ever been made,” the spokesman affirmed, in reference to unproven allegations France was paying off the Iraqis to deal with its nationals from Daesh.

“The Iraqi authorities know that France is opposed to the death penalty, everywhere and under all circumstances, and that it asks that these sentences not be enforced”, Gauvin reiterated, adding that Paris is still actively involved in an ongoing campaign against terrorism “to ensure that justice is served everywhere that Daesh has committed its barbaric crimes.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency