ISTANBUL — Turkey wants to send Islamic State fighters and their families back to their countries of origin after capturing parts of northeast Syria from the Kurdish forces who have held the prisoners since toppling the so-called caliphate earlier this year.
Turkey’s cross-border incursion to fight the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces has sparked alarm that a resurgent IS will take advantage of the chaos. Those fears were stoked by a prison breaks and at least one car bombing in the initial days after the offensive began last month.
US commandos killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Oct. 26 in a raid on his hideout in Syria’s northwest Idlib province, but the Pentagon has warned that his death does not spell the end of IS, which has since named a new leader and warned it remains “on the doorstep of Europe.”
Turkey says it has captured hundreds of IS militants and their family members since entering Syria on Oct. 9. It has urged Western governments to take responsibility for their citizens who went to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad beginning in 2014. But most European nations do not want the fighters and some have even revoked citizenship for a handful of militants.