AANES to try 10,000 ISIS foreign fighters

RAQQA, Syria (North Press) – On Saturday, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) announced that it would begin the trial of foreign ISIS fighters held in AANES’ prisons in line with international and local terrorism laws.

The AANES’ statement, which was published on its official Facebook page, stated that the trials would be “public, fair, and transparent” in order to protect the rights of the victims and their families.

The AANES explained that their decision was made due to the international community’s failure to respond to its calls with regard to the repatriation of foreign ISIS members, as well as to uphold justice and provide social justice for the victims.

Since March 2019, when the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) liberated Baghouz, the last ISIS stronghold, the AANES has been calling on the international community to take responsibility for finding solutions for the detained ISIS fighters. It has proposed initiatives to establish an international court or one with an international mandate.

The statement said that this does not mean that the AANES has given up on its demand for an international court, stressing that it is still urging the international community to respond to its calls.

The AANES called on the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, the United Nations, and international and local NGOs to positively engage and support the trials at all stages.

The issue of foreign ISIS fighters constitutes a major burden and challenge for the AANES, as their continued detention without trial violates the international law. Furthermore, the security situation is increasingly precarious due to their continued presence, in addition to the presence of the tens of thousands of their family members, mostly women and children, living in camps of North and East Syria.

Reporting by Ahmad Othman