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Around 500 French Militants Still in Syria, Iraq

Around 500 French Militants Still in Syria, Iraq

Sunday, 10 December, 2017 - 07:15
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a joint news conference with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China November 24, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

About 500 French militants who joined the terrorist group ISIS are still in Syria and Iraq, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on the air of the BFM TV channel.

“We are talking about 500 jihadists who are there and will be imprisoned,” said Le Drian.

"The return to France by their own means is extremely difficult," he noted, without further details.

The French foreign minister said the defeat of ISIS in Syria became possible “thanks to the actions of the international coalition.”

According to the data voiced earlier by the Minister of the Interior of France Gerard Colon, over 240 militants have returned to France over the past five years, of which about 50 are minors.

About 130 of them are currently in prison, others remain at large, but under the control of French law enforcement agencies.

At the moment, the police are monitoring 18.4 thousand people entered in its electronic database of persons posing a potential threat to the security of the country.

The participation of the French army in the fight against ISIS in the anti-terrorist coalition led by the United States subjected France to attacks on its own territory.

After the terrorist attacks of November 13, 2015, when a total of 130 people were killed in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis and about 350 wounded, a state of emergency was introduced in the country, which ceased in early November.

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