British ISIS deserters stranded in Turkey: report

The paper said some of the fighters of North African and Arabic backgrounds were trying to leave Turkey for countries including Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and Libya. (File Photo: Reuters)

About 100 Britons who deserted the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria are stranded in Turkey because they fear to return to the United Kingdom, The Sunday Times newspaper reported, quoting an official.

“We understand there’s around 100 British jihadists who are waiting in limbo in Turkey before they can make their way to countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh and Algeria – countries where their parents were born and where they have the family support they need to settle in,” the daily quoted a Whitehall official as saying.

“The choices for these jihadists have become very limited — they don’t want to return to Syria because they would most likely be killed for defecting and they can’t come back to Britain without the prospect of being locked up,” the official said.

The paper said some of the fighters of North African and Arabic backgrounds were trying to leave Turkey for countries including Tunisia, Algeria, Yemen and Libya.

The daily said some were believed to have escaped the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Raqqa, frustrated by inter-rebel fighting rather than battling the regime of Syrian Presidnet Bashar al-Assad.

The paper said that while there have been reports of British jihadists intending to leave the front line to return to the U.K., this is the first example of militants who have thrown down their arms and opted to seek refuge in their parents’ country of origin.

Some 500 Britons are believed to be fighting alongside ISIS in Syria and up to 300 have returned after doing a stint on the front line, the paper said.


 

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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