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SDF Hands Back to Iraq 130 ISIS Militants

SDF Hands Back to Iraq 130 ISIS Militants

Friday, 22 February, 2019 - 06:00
Spokesman for Iraq's security media center General Yehya Rassoul
Baghdad - London - Asharq Al-Awsat
US-backed Syrian forces handed over to Iraq on Thursday 130 Iraqi ISIS members who were detained in Syria, an Iraqi military spokesman told Agence France Presse.

Iraqi security forces have received from the SDF "130 Iraqi ISIS militants," General Yehya Rassoul, a spokesman for Iraq's security media center, said.

"They used to fight in Iraq but when the battles were over they went to Syria where they were captured by SDF forces during recent fighting," he said.

A commander of the Popular Mobilization Forces, who declined to be named, said the militants were all Iraqi nationals and were transferred to authorities including members of military intelligence.

"Other groups will be handed over to  Iraq, including families of the militants," said the commander.

A spokesman for the Kurdish-led SDF denied the claim. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants and their relatives were taken from Syria to Iraq in trucks of the US-led coalition.

Iraq declared victory over the extremist group in late 2017 following a punishing campaign to end its control of territory that once covered a third of the country.

SDF forces, backed by coalition air strikes, have trapped the militants in less than half a square kilometer in the village of Baghouz, their last sliver of territory in eastern Syria.

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