MESOPOTAMIA NEWS FOCUS : U.S. expects every country to take back Islamic State foreign fighters: Pompeo

9 May 2019 – MESOP  – LONDON,— The United States expects every country will work to take back their citizens who fought for Islamic State in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday during a visit to Britain.

Earlier this year Britain removed the citizenship of a teenager who traveled to join Islamic State.

The case illustrated the difficulties Western capitals are facing as they try to work out what to do with battle-hardened foreign jihadist fighters, and their wives and children.

Asked during a news conference with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt whether he was frustrated by Britain’s reluctance to take back its foreign fighters, Pompeo said: “We have an expectation that every country will work to take back their foreign fighters and continue to hold those foreign fighters, we think that is essential.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has urged Britain, France and Germany to take back more than 800 captured Islamic State fighters and put them on trial.

Pompeo said he discussed the issue with Iraqi leaders during a visit to Baghdad on Tuesday, and countries should work together to ensure that the West would “never have to fight these same terrorists again”.

“We have rounded them up, they are now contained and they need to continue to be contained so they cannot present additional risk to anyone anywhere in the world,” he said.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in March 2019 announced the defeat of the Islamic State proto-state. Thousands of Islamic State jihadists and their families have been arrested.

Syrian Kurds routinely urge world to take back foreign Islamic State jihadists. The Kurds warned that the thousands of foreign jihadists they have detained in their fight against the Islamic State group are a time-bomb the international community urgently needs to defuse.