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France: Syria’s Kurdish-run Camps Not ‘Currently’ Under Threat

France: Syria’s Kurdish-run Camps Not ‘Currently’ Under Threat

Wednesday, 16 October, 2019 - 08:45
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. Reuters file photo

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Wednesday that the Kurdish-run camps in northern Syria, where thousands of ISIS militants are held, are not "currently" under threat from the operation led by Turkey.

Le Drian said that nine French women had already escaped on Sunday from the Ain Issa camp in northwestern Syria.

Kurdish officials have said almost 800 people fled that camp after Turkey's offensive targeted the area.

But “to my knowledge, the Turkish offensive and the positioning of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) have so far not led to the safety and security of these camps... currently being threatened," Le Drian told French broadcaster BFMTV and RMC radio.

He said he would discuss a judicial framework for putting militants on trial during an upcoming visit to Iraq, as calls grow for an international court to judge the extremists.

"We need to work things out with the Iraqi authorities so that we can find the ways to have a judicial mechanism that is able to judge all these fighters, including obviously the French fighters," he told BFMTV, without specifying when he would go to Baghdad.

European states are trying to fast-track a plan to shift thousands of foreign ISIS militants out of Syrian prison camps and into Iraq, after the outbreak of fresh conflict in Syria raised the risk of extremists escaping or returning home.

Seven European countries -- France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark -- have during the last months been discussing setting up an international court in Iraq for putting the militants on trial.

Officials from all seven countries took part in a technical mission to Baghdad to assess the situation.

In a joint statement they said they had learned from the Iraqi authorities about "the daunting task they are facing in bringing ISIS to justice and rebuilding the society."

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