Published On: Tue, Oct 8th, 2019

ISIS news: British jihadis could escape to the UK if Trump allows Turkey to invade | World | News

UK politicians have warned that Islamic State fighters who left Britain to fight for the terror organisation could return to the UK after being held in northeast Syria if Turkey is allowed to invade the region. A cross-party group of MPs and peers who visited the region last month warned that US President Donald Trump’s policy change to allow Turkey to take custody of the prisoners “risks global security”.

Trump’s unexpected decision, which he made after a phone call with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could allow members to escape and regroup.

Labour backbencher Lloyd Russell-Moyle chaired the meeting of the cross-party group which said they were unclear what would happen to the ISIS fighters.

There are an estimated 18,000 ISIS fighters and 70,000-plus refugees, which include 60 Britons in northeast Syria.

The group of MPs questioned whether “these dangerous people will remain detained and not be released to find themselves in Athens or London or be used as a bargaining chips against British interests.”

Amongst the prisoners being held, are two people who have been accused of participating in beheading western hostages.

Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh, as well Shamima Begum and Jack Letts are all being held and have had their British citizenship stripped.

The prisoners are currently being held by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The SDF is made up of 75,000 troops that have provided the majority of the ground force in the military campaign to extinguish ISIS from Syrian territory.

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The group has also revealed that they are anxious Turkey could begin bombing using F16 jets.

The MPs’ warnings were also echoed by Mr Letts’ mother Sally Lane.

She also thinks “the Kurds could suddenly release them” or that “they’ll ask people if they want to fight for them against Turkey”.

Mrs Lane wants her son extradited to Canada where he will be put to trial after the UK stripped him of his citizenship this summer.

Mr Letts – a Muslim convert – left his home in Oxfordshire and joined ISIS before being found by the SDF in 2017 where he has been residing in a crowded prison.

She said she is “terrified of what’s going to happen to Jack.”.

She added: “I know what people think, who cares about hundreds of Isis fighters, but one of them is my son.”

The White House said in a statement on Sunday that it expected Turkey to take responsibility for the ISIS fighters if it did take over the region.

However, the founder of the London-based Centre for Kurdish Progress, İbrahim Doğuş warned that if an invasion took place, then the SDF may not be able defend and control the camps.

He said: “The SDF may not be able to control the camps and prisons due to relocating its forces while Turkey may decide to release them to use against SDF and then let them go anywhere they want.”

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