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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Germany Vows to Prosecute Syria Jihadists, But Warns of Difficulties

Politics

7Dnews London

Mon, 18 Feb 2019 18:47 GMT

Germany vowed on Monday, February 18th, to prosecute German Isis fighters, but warned that it would be "extremely difficult" to organise the repatriation of European nationals from Syria. This was after US President Donald Trump called on allies to take back alleged jihadists, according to AFP.

The US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are fighting back Isis jihadists in their last redoubt in eastern Syria, hold hundreds of suspected foreign Isis fighters. Calls for their reluctant home countries to take them back have grown in urgency.

"We must be able to ensure that prosecution is possible," Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told Bild daily.

Also, the minister noted that there is "no government in Syria with which we have a sensible relationship".

On the other hand she added that President Bashar "Assad cannot be our counterpart, the Syrian-democratic forces are not a unity government," highlighting how proof and witness statements are needed to be secured in Syria if the militants are to be put on trial.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said separately that a return could only be possible if "we can guarantee that these people can be immediately sent here to appear in court and that they will be detained".

Middle East Europe