Terror suspects are being deported to Turkey for trial
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Affected Countries: turkey;
Dozens of Daesh terror suspects were being deported to Turkey on Thursday after being removed from prisons in northern Syria by Turkish troops.
The militants, all Turkish nationals, were seized during Turkey’s military offensive to establish a 30-km buffer zone on its border with Syria.
Daesh family members held in detention facilities and camps are also being brought to Turkey, where those who have not been involved in war crimes will undergo rehabilitation.
Militants from other nations will be kept in prisons in the border town of Tal Abyad under the control of Syrian National Army.
Last week Turkey urged European countries to take back Daesh fighters released by People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria and put them on trial.
“YPG released around 650 Daesh terrorists in Syria, including 150 Turkish citizens and 500 from countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
About 195 of the militants have been recaptured, he said.
Many EU countries, especially France, have refused to take back nationals who fought for Daesh, preferring to extradite them to Iraq for trial. More than 300 people were killed and 1,500 injured in Daesh-linked terror attacks on Turkish territory.
Newly deported Daesh militants will also face trial under Turkish jurisdiction. However, there are concerns many will receive only short prison terms because of the difficulty in proving their crimes.
Almost 50 militants, including senior members of Daesh, went on trial in July in Turkey’s northwestern province of Kocaeli over their activities in Turkey, Syria and Iraq. They are expected to receive prison terms of between four and 22 years.
Pieter van Ostaeyen, an expert on international jihad, said that rehabilitation will be needed for the militants’ families, especially children.
“The best way to deal with all people who have committed war crimes, not only Daesh fighters, is to set up an international trial. However, the international community refused. Most countries involved thought the problem with foreign fighters would solve itself,” he told Arab News.
Ostaeyen warned of a “potential catastrophe” if the Kurds stopped guarding the camps because of increasing Turkish and Syrian National Army pressure.
He urged the Turkish army to provide guards for the prison camps, but said this was unlikely to happen.
“It is by liberating their people from the camps that Daesh will most likely rebuild its presence throughout Syria and Iraq,” he said.
Al-Hawl refugee camp in northern Syria falls outside Turkey’s safe zone. The camp holds more than 60,000 women and children linked to Daesh, along with 10,000 internally displaced people.
Turkish security forces last month arrested 120 Daesh suspects, including a bomb expert and senior members, during anti-terror operations throughout the country.
Source: Arab News